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From the Darkness of the Redwood Forest PDF Print E-mail
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by Jan Lundberg   
05 September 2008
Culture Change Letter #198 -- From the cool darkness of the redwood forest I sally forth as a back-to-nature activist going off to the intellectual world of energy issues and the climate crisis, for my work online.

But first I played a little guitar from some dreamed music, and before making breakfast I took the chill off and mildew-potential away by getting the small wood stove blazing on this summer morning. This little cabin was built under redwoods, which everyone knows is a good way to not enjoy any natural warmth. The olive oil in the outdoor kitchen congeals any time of year. But aren't we cozy now. And the sun shining through (when it does), a little here and there, is extra lovely in its kisses of colors upon colors.

I drink excellent well water and use less-safe but plentiful creek water to tend the vegetable garden before the sun is high. I pass fruit trees and berry vines that are often my breakfast this time of year. I brush my teeth with a suitable twig, use a compost toilet and have a solar-heated shower before walking down the country road to the fishing village with wi-fi. The stress of my commute is just that a mean doggie may have to meet the business end of my walking stick.

The main advantage to arriving at civilization is that a bear isn't going to try to mess with your food or come indoors, and a mountain lion is not going to spring in the dusk at you if you happen to crouch down too long. But soon we are venturing back in the darkness of the redwood forest, and soon above us the Milky Way is quite clear. Each star in the darkness is all the more magnificent framed by the redwood tree silhouettes high above.

There's not that much more to report about my simple life. It's kind of hard to believe there's a problem with climate, here anyway. And the energy crisis is meaningless when you walk or bicycle, and you can always gather some firewood. Make no mistake, there's no shortage of physical work for everyone to keep a community going. But that's what our bodies need, and giving one's time for the common good has deep dividends. Like Survival?

Naturally, one concerns himself with other activities and the world's crises. Such as, "I look forward to meeting that exotic woman over there" and "Boy am I up in arms about the police-state crackdown on protesters and journalists at the Republican National Convention." But I don't stay angry long, because the idiocy of the Governor Palin selection for the Republican VP provides, like the funny paintings on the wall of the coffee house, a needed amusing distraction from the inner terror that our Earth is seeing not just climate change but probably climate extinction. And, some of us are not so well-to-do that we can just buy whatever we want and pay for any needed service to keep us comfortable. There's economic struggle dividing everyone, until collapse hits and tribes form. The crisis will eventually die down unless we've hit the tipping point for human extinction.

Fortunately, in the beautiful woods and away from any urban sounds, we already have each other in our little community. We're in close agreement on the problems of the world. As one member said, "What can be simpler and more obvious than the love tribe?" I told her I had heard that before, and I liked it then too.


I hope you enjoyed the above fantasy. Or is it real? Whatever, I must deal with urban issues and petrochemical toxics as I prepare to live in a marina to operate within the Sail Transport Network and fight the plastic plague. Fortunately, I will have the means (and the duty, for cultural exchange and heirloom seed bartering, etc.) to sail to such places as I described in the redwoods. It's good news that the last few ancient giants will apparently be saved, after decades of direct-action resistance to corporate clear-cutters, thanks also to the bankruptcy of the Texas-chainsaw Pacific Lumber Company. - JL

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Sail Transport Network:
and more STN articles

Fight the plastic plague:
and more plastic plague articles

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