Sunday, June 15, 2008

Looking Into a Horse Pasture

I look out into Indigo's horse pasture. Fifteen acres in the middle of a forested 40. It's quiet out there, just a handful of humans and horses, dogs and cats. I love every moment of this. Yet, I look out into that green pasture and think we aren't meant to live like this. Two people on 40 acres. A family on the next 40, another family on the next, then maybe 20 acre lots, 10 acres, and so on as you head to town, until lots are 50ft. X100 ft. The real estate professionals call that a city lot.

We live alone on our private property. Nuclear. Family. Each house with its two cars, washer-dryer, lawn mower, television, computer, toys. How fantastic the way it all works out that we each must have our own. The individual is truly the most profitable market size. We have been left with very little choice about how we live, but plenty of choices about what to clutter our lives with.

I've had the same dream all of my life. The one where we don't live the way we do now, but instead live communally, like all human creatures lived before the worst mistake in the history of the human race was made. Even when I was young, I dreamed this dream. I bought ten acres of land when I was 20 years old, thinking that I would share it with other dreamers, where we would eke out a living while creating our utopia. It's not even that what I imagined was original. It had been lived by every pre-human, early human, and human community that ever walked the earth. What made it original is that I dared to desire it in a post-agriculture/post-industrial world where it is suspect (and presumably a health hazard of the highest order) to gather on one piece of land with more than just a nuclear family. Imagine that.

I have often thought that war, disease, inequality, injustice, even malaise, all the human ills of our times are an extension of lives lived utterly out of balance with the earth. But even more than that, the real nightmare is that it has become nearly impossible to fashion lives that are in balance. I often wonder, What have we done? What have we done?
So, I look out into Indigo's horse pasture and let my imagination run wild. I pretend that I can see into the past where smoke rises from communal fires, and like-minded tribal members gather to share a history, a belief, an effort, a dream. I am not idealizing a hard life, or idolizing peoples who may have lead their own lives of inequality and brutal injustices. I am remembering something that beats out an ancient rhythm deep inside my own chest, and know instinctively that how we live now is wrong.

Top photo taken at Indigo's horse ranch, Wednesday June 11th. Bottom photo photoshopped Saturday June 14th.

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