journal entries from Earthaven

8/26 - Saturday evening
I’ve only been here 2 days, but it almost feels like I’ve been here 2 weeks. I’m staying at the A&A guest house as a work-exchanger. I’m sleeping on the 3rd floor on a couch/bed thing right next to window. There are lot’s of sleep spaces up here (and really all over the building). Lyndon Phelps is here! I had e-mailed him years ago about dillo hours [local currency for Austin] while he was living at the Rhizome, but never met him face to face until here at Earthaven. The vibe has been very good. I joined the weekly tour this morning and learned some general information about the ecovillage. I don’t have cell phone signal here & internet connection is harder to come by (the wifi router has to be turned on for each use and because of the electrical system, I can’t recharge my battery here), but I can tell that I’m not going to want to go out of my way to get it.

8/27 - Sunday
Debbie (intern with Red Moon herbs) said she’d been to East Wind & Dancing Rabbit (Sandhill). Her feeling was that because East Wind’s nut-butters business is so successful, they have had less of an emphasis on self-sufficiency and low-energy living (if we can just buy it, why do it ourselves?). She also thought Dancing Rabbit had too many ecological restrictions for rapid growth (as compared with Earthaven) - such as the ban on personal vehicle ownership.

8/30 - Wednesday
Human and the other Humans played at the White Owl (Earthaven’s coffee shop/hangout) tonight. It was fricking bad-ass! Funky guitar and hand drum with a female vocal accompaniment, and some violin. Very dancable, progressive lyrics - songs sung from a new paradigm. Several people got naked (including both guys in the band), and lots more got toppless (including the girl in the band) fucking sweet. My legs are tired from dancing.

8/31 - Thursday
Lyndon is such a trip. He has the most amazing energy. I’m glad I finally met him here. There’s a girl named Sarah interning with Imani farms. She has a quiet (collected, calm) energy that I find myself drawn to. I’ve met several people with interest and training in wilderness skills. Herbal medicine interest is rampant (especially with the Red Moon Herbs business here at Earthaven). I’ve been here less than a week here and already I don’t want to leave. At the last community, I was glad I had a schedule to move me along, but here I’m sad about it. These people are not just on the same page as me, they’re in the same book. I’ve slept next to an open window since I’ve been here & I’m really enjoying it. The breeze, the rain, the birds.

9/1 - Friday
There’s a permaculture class that came in today. Seventeen students. Wow! They’ll be here for the next 9 days. Patricia is the main teacher/organizer for the class. The permaculture class I took in Austin was actually taught by two of her students. I’m going to eat so well this week! (Normally we only have house meals at nights, but for the class we’ll get 3 meals a day!). The food orders came in today - measured in cases and pounds. It’s been raining for a few days now - side-effects of a hurricane I’m told. I wouldn’t mind at all except power is low, which means no computers or movies most of the day. I’ve been getting up early - 8-9ish - and think it has made me tired the past few days. I worked with Donna this morning - another Red Moon intern - weeding and clearing trails for LEAP credit. Everyone is required to do about 4 hours/week for Earthaven-specific projects. Accumulated hours can be withdrawn as LEAPs, Earthaven’s time currency, and traded with other Earthaven members.

9/2 - Saturday midday
At the council meeting on Sunday a guy named Farmer announced a meeting about “open-source mythology.” I won’t be here for the meeting so I met with him individually to chat about it. What we’re talking about is essentially designing culture. Looking at all of those memes that make up the answer to the question “why are we here?” and figuring out which ones work and which ones don’t. Rewriting the myths to tell a story that works for us in the long run. It was exciting to talk to someone thinking about the same things. It feels so good to be out here.

Don’t know where to write this - Patricia (one of the A’s in A&A) sent Mary (her sister, the other A) to pick up some cheese, and instead of good organic stuff, she just got the cheap brick stuff. Patricia called it “schwag cheese.”

9/3 - Sunday before dinner
I went over to Village Terraces (a co-housing building) to see Sarah and sure enough she was right there in the kitchen! We talked there for a bit about my open source mythology conversation with Farmer and she took notes. We seem able to connect on some higher level - hard to describe. She is at Earthaven as a second-choice - she really wants to be in Israel, studying Judaism, but because of the fighting, she’s hesitant to go. We took a walk down to the labrynth because she hadn’t seen it yet, then past to the sweat lodge. When we were starting our walk, a deer bounded across our path down the hill - my first sighting at EH. I considered it good medicine. I picked up the fallen “labrynth” sign next to the path and tried to fix it, cutting my finger in the process. It was just a little cut but it was bleeding; Sarah ripped a strip of cloth from her headband for me to use as a bandage. I thought it was sweet in a “this actually happens?” kind of way. Our walk was quiet and calm, observative, appreciative. We hung out by the creek. I repeated Chris Farmer’s note that the simple answer to our purpose is two words: give thanks. She told me she appreciated my company. She had to go cook dinner in the hut hamlet, so we walked back there together. I told her I’d like to do it again, and she said she would too.

9/4 - Monday night / early Tuesday morning (1am)
OMG! Tonight I did dances of universal peace with the permaculture class. It wasn’t as focused on spirit/connection as my experiences with Youth of Unity, but still a lot of fun. After Patricia ended the regularly scheduled activities and went to bed, the rest of us started drumming. A couple of the guys started doing some capoeria, and a couple of the girls did some contact improv. I drummed. After everyone was good and sweaty, we went down to the creek - manifesting along the way that the sauna would be hot, and - serendipity - it was! Marty was in there (he’s been cooking for the class all week) - we all took turns flipping between creek and sauna. In the sauna, there was a range from talking to improv. percussion to chanting and improv. singing. It was very much like my sweat lodge experience at DR (actually the May Day celebration at Sandhill). I probably went back and forth 4 times. It is so lovely to see young women naked in the moonlight.

I went on another long exploratory walk today - into “forest garden,” through a fire circle, and came out on a road in “Full Circle” - the neighboring communitiy. While I was on my walk, I ran into a pen with 2 sheep and a cow - must have been the ones Sarah’s taking care of - so I left her a little boquet on top of a bucket - three leaves, a mushroom, and one of those circular vine plants we saw on our walk. I hope she enjoys the surprise, and knows it was from me.

9/5 - Tuesday
Woke up feeling sick, hungover. I spent way too long in the sauna last night and am totally dehydrated. I took it easy all day long and slept a lot.

9/6 - Wednesday morning
Sun!!! OMG It’s so nice to finally wake up to sunlight! It’s been raining for the past several days with no more than an hour or two of sunlight per day. Waking up to blue skies and sunlight is such a refreshing change! I got up and did Qi-Gong with Arjuna again today. It’s different from the Nei-Kung that I did in Tai Chi class, but still a lovely enlivening practice. I hope I run into Sarah somewhere today. I’d like to see her again.

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