Friday, October 12, 2018

another woods walk

Beware: if I ask you to take a walk with me in the woods it means we're either having a heavy conversation about life patterns and the state of the world or I’m trying to make out with you. Admittedly, it's usually the former. Jennell and I went yesterday, the day was long and drawn out -- the very end of a fabled 2018 autumn weekend for us; full of Saipua weddings and our own annual family lamb dinner. We made our feast small this year, keeping with the spirit of the times around here. Most everyone had left and the remaining handful of us were cleaning the last of the dishes with the garden hose in a make shift dish pit, hanging bedsheets from the tipis on the line.

Jennell was our first hired farmer and she has been back at Worlds End visiting. When I started recently to create an DC Comics-like map of all the women in my life who I want to build the future with, Jennell’s superpower is listed as: SENSITIVITY.

We go to the woods and talk about how to take care of ourselves and the pursuit of freedom. We wonder at and bemoan this long labor, littered with incremental successes and failures. We need each other perpetually to remind us that this work is never done, and that there is no arrival to freedom.
Ok, I say, now you tell it to me again.
(Here in lies the importance of sisterhood.)
Can I hold my own pain and struggle at the same time with someone else's?
Let that be a new type of power we summon for the new world order.

The freedom I’m after has no form, no prescriptive path. I can't get it if I'm smart with my money (I'm not) or if I quit my job (tried that). One might think of freedom as liberation or lightness, but I actually think of it as having a lot of weight. The heft of absolute personal responsibility. At some point last year in my contemplation of freedom I read Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling which describes anxiety as the realization of one’s own real freedom.
Turns out knowing what one wants and choosing for oneself is quite hard.

Many important life choices are simulated for us. Encoded in the shimmering illusion of choice lie the infinitely complex bastions of culture; religion, fashion, the wellness industry, etc — these forms tell us what we should look like, who to connect with, what to think, what to eat, who to vote for. It is an easier way to be in the world, it's lighter. And it feels safe.  Real freedom is terrifying and dangerous because it opens the chasm of unknown potential.

See you in the woods then.


LPC said...

Into the woods we go.

Suzonne said...

I've missed you. And reminded again how your words feed my soul, whether through laughter or rumination.

Tiffany said...

<3 <3 <3 So glad you are still sharing your ideas!

Anonymous said...

I have left this tab open and return to read the third paragraph often. It resonates deeply with the year I've had. Thank you for your words.