(This post first appeared as Issue 3 of my EcoTexan Journey newsletter. You can subscribe to future issues here)
Would like to start by acknowledging the lengthy gap since I last wrote y’all. I could make a thousand excuses along the lines of…
“Shucks, turns out writing consistently is really hard when you’re traveling”
“Well, my Instagram feed kinda became my newsletter”
“Dang it, there were just a lot of good sunsets to watch”
…and these are all true to some extent. And there’s probably more. But now — a year on from the anniversary of my leaving Austin on June 19th, 2015 — I feel it’s the right time to write y’all again.
So here I am.
Sitting in Bison Coffee House, northeast Portland. Sun shining outside, faded U.S. flag dangling at half-staff across the street, iced hibiscus tea cooling my innards. Barton beside my Mac, gently encouraging me to get started.
If I could write all the Issues between then and now…
…there is so much I would write…
I’d write of impossibly green Wales.
Rich in water, poor in hope.
I’d write of dusty Tamera.
Poor in water, rich in hope.
I’d write of kaleidoscopic Damanhur.
A maybe-guru’s dream manifest in stone, paint, and people,
its mythological momentum motivating a molasses metamorphosis in his absence.
I’d write of warm, welcoming ZEGG.
Of raking rusty leaves and crushed ash over dewey ground.
Of shirtless wood-chopping and barefoot sauerkraut-stomping.
(Actually, I did kinda write about this, during a beer-fueled jam in Jerusalem)
I’d write of barren Spain.
Of once fertile hillsides reduced to row-plowed stone.
Of walking on the Mother’s bones, crying tears into Her cracked flesh.
I’d write of London, Toronto, Berlin, Madrid.
Vast bricolages of concrete, exhaust, and people.
Steel veins pumping blood and oil, obediently serving the Network.
I’d write of Eco-Nomadic Millennials and Burned-Out Boomers.
Of Privileged Permaculturists and Migrant Moroccans.
Of Sleepy-Eyed Syrians and Wool-Shearing Welsh.
I’d write of a young Texan farmer, her face hewn rough by intimacy with soil and seasons and sudden death. Of her stoic determination, her rock-steady kindness, her fierce loyalty to friends, family, and Land.
A face of the Future.
I’d write of broad Canada.
Welcoming her geese flocks back from a short, strange winter.
Of trains and shale and fire. Of majestic, overwhelming, unceasing beauty.
I’d write of Cascadia.
Her fresh fir tips leaning down from towering trunks.
Her cool dark depths undulating beneath a full moon.
Of her young refuges, molded by glacial fingers, framed in ancient mountains.
I’d write of One United Resource.
Earnestly ecovillaging just off the beaten path.
Building regeneratively, burying naturally, re-zoning what’s possible.
I’d write of City Repair.
Of painting intersections and making Places.
Of neighbors meeting for the first time after years adjacent.
Of the Village re-emerging, healing, everywhere.
I’d write of the Bright Future.
Of what time it is.
Of the most fun we’ve had in five Millenia.
I’d write of the Great Turning
and Pre-emptive De-growth and Restoration Agriculture.
I’d write of Palestinian Apartheid and Polish Polemicism and Scottish Nationalism.
I’d write of Non-Violent Communication and Sociocracy and Forum.
I’d write of Ways Through.
Of Alan Watts and Iain McGilchrist and Lao Tzu.
Of Ecstatic Dance and Authentic Relating and Zazen.
Of David Whyte and Thich Naht Hanh and Mary Oliver.
Of Joanna Macy and Charles Eisenstein and Karen Litfin.
I’d write of cooking and eating and pot-washing.
Of the most nutritious, delicious food of my entire life.
Of harvesting a potato, boiling it in spring water,
tasting the essence of a Place with my entire soul.
I’d write of embarrassingly simple solutions.
Of natural building and food forests and rainwater catchment.
Of perennials and passive solar and pollinator attractors.
I’d write of gratitude circles and gift economies.
Of skill-trade and co-creation and human becoming.
I’d write of depression and friendship and the comfort of a warm fire on a cold night.
I’d write of Essencing.
Of living in someone’s core, terrifyingly full.
Of dancing naked in the darkness.
I’d write of pain and fear and anger, manifesting in so many.
Of holding it heavily or lightly or letting it go.
Of the power of a listening ear and a long hug.
I’d write of meeting the same person, with a hundred faces, everywhere.
I’d write of Loving, and Leaving, and Living.
In time, I hope to write about all of these things. I feel myself in the “coasting back to Austin” phase of this whole Journey. Likely I’ll be in Texas by late August. Once I’m somewhat settled, I hope to reflect on and write about the Journey in a rollingyear-ago-this-month retrospective.
Maybe that’ll work better than trying to process and share everything as it happens?
Let’s find out.
A few folks have encouraged me to write a book about this Journey. Or a doctoral thesis. Or a piece of performance art. Something Big and Beautiful.
In short, I’d love to. And also, a dimension of my deep learning on this Journey has been how much creating huge, long-term Things is still a growing Edge for me. In a way, merely following this Journey at all has been huge enough for now.
There’s only so far I can go in a year.
If there’s a particular story here you’d like to see sooner than later, let me know.
Y’all be well now. Thanks for reading.
Love and Blessings from the Road,