Monday, March 1, 2010

When You're 80

I thought that this would be a great day to return to blogging. I'm second-guessing that now. I spent the morning at the dentist and I knew I'd feel like sitting still the rest of the day. But right at the moment the Novocaine is wearing off and the ibuprofen isn't quite cutting it and my eyes are watering just a little. 

I've had a lucky day today, though, because I caught a friend on the phone this morning. She reminded me that in the battle of what you *have* to get done and the things you do because they make you *happy*, you must make time to cut the pragmatism and just follow your bliss. She said she asks herself now and then something to the effect of, "When you're 80, what are the passions, dreams and skills you are going to wish you'd pursued?"

Blog Free February was a small little adventure for me. The snow and sun came on in full strength after Groundhog's Day, making February the bright month of reflection I've come to appreciate it as. I finished some plant drawings and started a figure drawing class. The plant and butterfly drawings were gifts I gave as cards to friends. The figure drawing class reminded me how invigorating it is to learn something new. After the first class I was wound up so much I couldn't sleep. I spent the entire next day drawing. The rest of the week I had a deep sense of calm that I felt was coming from having this drawing life taking shape. Sitting in a meeting, meeting a new person, or dodging crazy Michigan drivers, the calm was there. I spent a great deal of time drawing in February. I also read a few books. I played guitar with my husband. BFF was a success, I think.

I also remembered why I appreciate the blogging world and how blogging prods me to keep asking little questions and seeking out the answers. I really enjoy reading others' thoughts and reflections and seeing small reports of what they're planting, reading, plotting, scheming, and observing. There's a lot of information out there to read and keep track of, so you have to be mindful of how it's contributing to your mood, progress, level of engagement, and overall goals. Taking some time off showed me that I really enjoy keeping a blog and reading others' blogs, as long as I don't get bogged down in the blog. (Blogged down?)  I'm hoping to follow my original intention a little bit more closely in the next coming months, though. I started this blog with the idea of looking more closely into the sources of my food, what it was costing me and the Earth, and finding ways that I could start breaking down my dependence on the industrial food system. I intend to focus on this goal a little more this season.

I've been reading Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, which I cannot recommend emphatically enough considering that I have learned so much, questioned so many assumptions, and faced many unfriendly realities since beginning it even though I consider myself thoroughly marinated in the issues surrounding our industrialized food system. Pollan is a master journalist. I will write an in-depth response to the book in the next few days, but for now I'm mentioning it because it has rekindled my interest in facing the question "What does it take to feed oneself?" Growing my own food is something I know I'll be happy I spent my time on when I'm 80 for the simple reason that it brings me joy. Many people are gardening these days, for many different reasons. As Pollan's book reminds me, it is very difficult to find our way out of the industrial food web. But there are some really good reasons that we should. As much as I love an ideal, I'm a realist too. I'm hoping I can share some of my experiences in nutritional independence, and maybe we can all continue to learn from one another.

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