Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sustainable Living, Party For One?

In the pic above, that's me working on my gray water system which will filter all the water coming from my kitchen & bathroom sink plus my tub. I was lucky enough to have someone dig the hole when they were already around doing work with a back hoe machine... otherwise I planned to shovel the 10 foot by 4 foot, 12 inch deep hole myself with a shovel. Now I am working on shoveling gravel into a wheelbarrow then bringing it down to dump into the hole, then raking it out evenly... for a girl who weighs about 100 pounds, this shit is no joke!
The harder I work towards becoming sustainable, natural, eco friendly, & off grid the more I realize how difficult it is to achieve these goals by yourself. I have often wondered if working towards a functioning eco home on my own is a historically impossible task? The thing is, I have needed people, lots of people's various talents, skills, advice, a helpful hand - enough that it made me think how humans used to function before modern life allowed us to splinter into strong independence. Not true independence, but one that allows a person to do their entire life without another person around to lend a hand - grocery stores provide food, walmart type stores supply basic needs & then some - there is nothing a person can't buy, everything to "survive" is provided for. The independence is still on others to provide these things, but the comfort & illusion of doing it all yourself is there. (This is the kind of junk peek oiler's and apocalyptic folks love to brood on, the implications for those dependent on the system if it was to fail...leave ya rants in the comments section ;) ...)
For me, I knew going into these projects they were going to be rough (yet fun) and slow going to create alone, I knew that humans naturally throughout history worked at living sustainably in tribes. People split up the tasks, everyone had their skill, and lived without needing money - the independence was from not needing help outside the tribe, but no one was or is truly independent (if ya know someone I am super interested to hear all about them, and tell them to come ova' my house and teach me how to do it!).
No one does everything alone, and I am realizing in order to set myself up to do it all alone, I am needing a pretty good amount of outside sources to help me achieve this. And alot of time during the first half of my life where I would have traditionally learned skills (but instead was stuck in school learning nothing I use except for reading and writing), I am now trying to do an entire tribes' job and learn every skill possible to survive independently, without hardly a soul to teach it to me. (we all know 'self taught' can take more time, it's a bit like reinventing the wheel.)
When people come over to my cabin to do a job (like cut a tree, build a wall, work with stone), I am the equivalent of a puppy dog following them around, watching everything they do, asking questions, trying to pick up even the slightest hint on how to better use a tool, how to repair, build, think, measure... apprentice to everything, master to only being an apprentice.
So for the modern woman (or man) who's dream is do to do what I am doing out here at my Luck Cabin, going at sustainability alone --- I want to say ... HOW Awesome Are WE? And how F-en crazy!
The goal can not be total independence, but rather just plain ole' sustainability --- and for me I think I have been getting them totally confused. Gawd and baby jezuz, help my reclusive soul cause here comes my first union with community.


Erik said...

Is this a hint that you want a robot for Christmas?

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Erik :)

well, if it can do all kinds of rural living tasks.... maybe.

Anonymous said...

I envy your tenacity. I am afraid I am not that driven. Shameful in today's world, I know. I will keep reading and hopefully you will inspire me to do more than just recycle my garbage.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Diane -
we all should do what we are driven to do - there are so many pieces and parts to the puzzle of life-
doing recycle or whatever someone enjoys doing is what probably will make the world a better place. I think the key is to be enjoying yourself on some level- cause when people work hard at something that dont' like they get crabby and & bitchy - and that don't make anything better! xoxo