more journal entries from Earthaven

I’ve been at Blue Heron Farm since Sunday night, and will be here only until Saturday. It’s already been way more than I expected. I’m finishing up my journal entries from Earthaven below. Hopefully I’ll get a “summary” out covering some technical details about EH before too long.

At one point at Earthaven, during the sushi party on Saturday night, I had a moment of clarity - I could see myself in my current position - like a little plant flowing from place to place along the river.

9/7 - Thursday night
We had a fire circle tonight - Chuck (one of the Permaculture teachers) led a visioning meditation - where do you want to be in 1 year, 5, 10 years? What obstacles do you see to getting there? For me it was something like - 1 year: living in a community setting in a semi-permanent state (i.e. several years); 5 years: deriving income from and spreading memes through some kind of mobile facilitation/consultation/teaching/etc. 10 years: possibly in another country? Thinking about long-term safety for my family (parents and eventual kids). The only obstacles that I see are the years in between.
There was lots of great sharing - not just vision, but also people’s hopes and fears - a very connected, intimate group.
No Sarah today. Left a note for her at VT (Village Terraces, where she’s staying) to call me.

9/8 - Friday
Sarah called today - thanked me for the note and the “bouquet” arrangement. She was going into town and talked about coming by the A&A afterwards. I stayed up until 9:45ish, but she didn’t show.
Went on another long walk today - up to Rosey Branch neighborhood - uphill all the way there. Nice walk though. Trails through the forest.

9/10 - Sunday
The permaculture students are finally gone. Whew! They were cool people, and it was fun having them around, but it’ll be nice to have the house relatively empty again (just the 8 of us). Yesterday Sarah invited me to make masks/costumery for the founding day celebration (Earthaven’s birthday party) - I made a leaf crown and branch sleeves for my “treefolk” costume.
I’m weighing in at 175 lbs now - which means I’ve lost 30 lbs since I started the trip in February.
Went to a concert at the White Owl (EH’s community cafe) last night - Kathy Moser opened and The Buckarettes played - $7 cover. Moser did a great poem - “Someone Like You” - available on her website. Buckarettes were o.k. - not really my kind of music. I left early because I was exhausted. I slept in this morning (after eating breakfast of course).
Went to another council meeting today. No vibes keeper again, but they didn’t seem to need it today. They discussed the budget for next year - discussion only, no decision to be made this time. During a break the facilitator had everyone stand in a circle and do percussion on the back of the person to their left, while everyone walked in a circle.
Founding day is tomorrow! Should be totally awesome.
I’m already mentally preparing myself to leave in a week.

9/11 - Monday night
Founding day was a lot of fun. A few of us were supposed to be “non-human” participants in the story of Earthaven’s history (hence the “treefolk” costume) - it was much less organized than I had expected, and I felt participation in the story was low overall. The food was great (BBQ chicken and baked potatoes, with potluck dishes from other participants), followed by campfire stories and drumming (simultaneously, which was a bit distracting).

9/12 - Tuesday
There are several people here involved with Mankind Project, a men’s group based on Native-American traditions (Lakota?). A friend in Austin tried to get me into it before I left. They’re hosting a sweat lodge here in a few weeks.
Hung out with Sarah again tonight. We listened to music and drew together (collaborated on the same drawing). It was a nice night. I feel like she’s a mystery, and I’m not going to figure her out before I leave. She played some Aligning Minds CD while we drew - instrumental electronic music.

9/15 - Friday
There was a special council meeting tonight for strategic planning. Lots of emotions came up around how to plan for possible future scenarios - ecological/financial collapse, peak oil, climate change, etc. People had different focuses depending on the perceived time scales involved, the availability and value of US dollars, etc. There was a very good awareness by 2-3 people about emotions / leading language, other language issues (negative phrasing, etc.). For example - one person was saying “We don’t do this and we don’t do that,” and someone observed that some people definitely are doing those things, and to say that they don’t is frustrating to hear - she could have said “I want us to do more of this” instead. The speaker gracefully accepted the truth in the criticism. There are lots of good intentions here, and follow-through. Good awareness of self and others. I’m already thinking about how to get back here. Like an addict. But I don’t think I could see myself becoming a life-long member here. It’s this country. It’s not safe. When you throw a brick in the air, it doesn’t hit the ground immediately, but it’s still not flying. I think again about a nomadic lifestyle. I need to have more wilderness skills to feel confident.

9/16 - Saturday night
Wow. What a fuckin’ day. Didn’t work much at A&A - put up some shelves in the bathroom. I put in 2.5 hours for an EH work-party this morning. The sushi party was excellent - tons of people - comparable to founding day - but there seemed to be a more festive atmosphere (?!). The food was great and there was plenty. I bought some herbal smoke blend - nicer than tobacco & not illegal! It has a lot of different herbs in it (chamomile, mullein, lobelia, etc.). Talked a bit with random people. Sarah showed up and sat next to me for dinner. I think I would have liked to play with her more - our time together now seemed more serious. I’ve been quoting Farmer’s line from last night - “If you ask me when I think the shit is going to hit the fan, I ask you: where?” Like the Gibson quote about the future. There’s a lot of consciousness here. I saw an ad in Communities magazine for EH describing it as eco-spiritual. One of the A&A residents said he felt like a lot of that focus has left, but I feel like there’s still a definite undercurrent of connection here. The spirituality is not as obvious as it was at Lost Valley, there is an active Mankind Project group and other spiritual people. Strong possibilities here. I like the fact that 3 A&A people are organizing a “reduced energy society” conference for Asheville. Activist work!

9/17 - Sunday
My last day at Earthaven was fairly uneventful. I walked up to Piney Knob neighborhood, the only one I hadn’t been to yet, saw a deer on the way back in. I recharged my batteries (laptop & mp3 player), packed, had a wonderful lunch and left. I said most of my goodbyes last night at the sushi party, so today was just the A&A folks. It felt sad but necessary. As I told Sarah, I’ve felt like this at every community (not wanting to leave), and if I hadn’t left there then I wouldn’t have found here. I had yummy Indian food on my way from EH to Blue Heron - spent $18 on the meal, probably more than I should have, but it’s my first meal out in 3+ weeks, and I want to enjoy it while I can.

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