food, farming, friends and family: a meditation on chosen simplicity and (in)voluntary complications – life.

You are so privileged and so temporary. Let both of these facts push you to make what you can out of what you have.

10 December 2008

I was two miles into a long run today when these words popped back in my mind. The sun was shining, miles of back country roads were stretched out ahead of me, and there was just enough grit mixed in with the snow and ice to ensure I wouldn’t be limping home with a bruised tailbone. That’s just about all you can ask for in a run on a windy January day in Michigan.

So I’m on this run, my mind is off exploring its various caverns (64% of the reason I run), I remember that line from an old journal and I think –

What am I waiting for?

Truth be told, I’ve been a little nervous about the coming year. I don’t have a master plan; I don’t have a job; I don’t even have furniture in my house. 2009 was a lesson in creating a self-structured life, and it wasn’t always easy – It was actually pretty difficult at times. And 2010 could look very similar. I’m working on switching my teaching certificate from Michigan to Washington so that I can substitute teach, and I certainly plan to have my hands in the soil more often than not, but, really, I’ll be providing this year with its shape.

And today I finally let myself get excited about that – let myself see it as an opportunity instead of a burden.

I am both priviledged and temporary, and to forget either piece of that is to waste time.

So I’ll build the furniture

and get back in the classroom from time to time

and enjoy growing food in soil that seems to get more fertile each time you look at it.

I’ll play the piano

and run

and cook great meals with great friends.

I’ll get more acquainted with my sewing machine

and write letters

and feel good about the fact that the next time somebody asks me “What do you do?” I really won’t know where to begin.


2 responses

  1. yes. and yes.copious amounts of love to you and the glorious midwest.

    January 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm

  2. Erin love,Reading this last post and knowing your latest plans I am energized for you and by you. It seems like a light has turned on and you are indeed finding the balance you have been searching for: the practical work that will bring you the right amount of money energy you need (we all need) that will leave your mind at rest about sharing the burden and allow you to blissfully and passionately farm along your way.That practical part has been relatively easy for me. I knew what I wanted to do early on, opportunities came up along the way, and I was able to take advantage…I most definitely feel privileged by this fact. Don't get me wrong, I have and continue to "enjoy" the feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, confused, inspired, motivated, and relieved whenever mulling over the financial aspects of my life. During this past week of acquiring my new car, I've been a tense, somewhat emotional wreck…luckily I wasn't in the car while feeling this.For me the hard part is that it is just me. I mean I ask for help just about everywhere, but if I fail or succeed it really just falls on my shoulders. So, I strive to take life by the horns and make of it what I can as long as I can. The independence is scary and nerve-wracking but I know it can and will be freeing if I let it be so! I'm still working on that last part…..Anyways, there are no words to adequately thank you for spilling your life into your words and unguardingly giving them away. I'm unabashedly thankful (currently tearing up) to have you in my life and to be able to share these most inner dialogues of life.Next time you see me, I will be showing up in a fine cherry red truck with a big smile…love you.Rosemary

    January 13, 2010 at 2:18 am

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