Snapshot of Lost Valley

It’s been challenging to articulately compose my reaction to Lost Valley. There are too many things running around in my head about the land, the gracious sense of the place and the people who make it that way. I’ve made several attempts so far just to go silent with a smile. As pleasant (and maybe a bit sentimental) as that may be, it’s of no use to a reader.

I came to Lost Valley with a certain expectation as to what it had to offer me and was taken back at what I actually took with me. I came with a technical curiousity and a more scientific desire for answers.

How does this place run? Where are they at in the path to self-sufficiency? What resources (electricity, water, food, soil, ect) are still being consumed? What effect does it have on social/economic/political issues?

These questions, this research, was my early motivation.

Once I became open to what else was going on, I started to see the more subtle attraction to the lives these people lived. Having a community to hold you and to care for gave a depth to the care of the land and seemed to soothe this deep loneliness I’ve been carrying with me throughout this human life of mine. With your meals you’re served a diversity of affection. Like the massai people children were watched over and loved by the whole community. It was like a chosen extended family that made room for roles that have no name. No role is easily defined.

These were people in touch with a transforming inner self. I found a greater articullation in myself as to what exactly I was feeling and thinking. Everyone I encountered was a willing listener and I felt that part of myself surfacing more. I was also taken back at how accepted my sense of humor was. I’ve spent a good bit of time in my life in places of uncomfortable adjustment, trying to fit into place with people who didn’t understand my sense of humor. I hadn’t realized how much this acceptence meant to me until I had it. I was instantly at ease and felt balanced between my spiritual, humourous and serious sides (these of course are not true divisions of self, just a convenient writer’s ploy at explaining something much more complicated.)

I realize now, sitting here, that I don’t think I will ever have the time to adequately describe everything about Lost Valley or the last weekend we spent there doing “Heart of Now”, that I wanted to. Nearly everyday after we left we have struggled to apply what we have learned to our lives. This trip has been a greater stress than either of us had anticipated. One of them being a lack of support and a lack of independant time. We spend every waking moment together out of necessity. We have no other friends or family to confide in or to turn to for support. We have no time to shut ourselves into our own space and reflect. I underestimated how much of a stress this would be on our relationship.

Most of our sentences about emotion start: “After we left Lost Valley…”. It’s like being brought back to earth after seeing heaven (there’s a Buffy reference there Kim should appreciate.) I know it would be easier to apply what we have learned if we had gone home to stability and to a support network of friends and family.

We continue to grow and are endlessly thankful to everyone at Lost Valley for their part in our transformation.
We will continue the dialogue and exploration at a better way to communicate with each other, and we will also continue to experiment with different places to apply what we’ve learned.

One Response to “Snapshot of Lost Valley”

  1. Dad Says:

    Your physical journey has become a journey of the soul and the spirit. The essence of a journey is that we leave a familiar place that we know and where we are known, surrounded by people that love and support us, and we go out into the void. You can feed and nurture the physical body, but the absence of the social and spiritual support network is both the nadir and the zenith for a spiritual journey inwards.

    We are all ultimately alone. We live in the inner world inside our own bodies and minds. As we grow up we learn socialization so that we can stroke other people, and in turn have them stroke us. We learn to connect with other people, and form co-dependent relationships . Our life’s impressions shape the way we feel about ourselves and the world we live in, both internally and externally. Our behavior provides those impressions for other people.

    Your physical journey will conclude. Perhaps you will return to the place you started from, and perhaps you will settle in a new community. Even when you return to Austin, it will not be the same place, because you and your friends have been on separate journeys, and you have not been with them, nor them with you. Your spiritual journey will continue beyond your physical journey. Out of your spiritual journey you will find new facets of yourself, new strengths, new priorities, a new understanding.

    I love you and I am always here for you.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.