Blue Heron - journal entries

I got within 2 miles of Blue Heron Farm and had the hardest time finding the damn road! There’s some construction at the intersection so it’s not well marked. Roy & Maria (my hosts) seem pretty cool, and really nice. I’m sleeping in their 5-year-old daughter’s room - I guess she’s sleeping in their bedroom. The house is really nice - completed only 10 months ago (by a contractor?). It’s passive solar, but otherwise traditional construction (not strawbale or anything), and still on-grid for power. The water comes from a ground well here at BH.

9/18 - Monday
Started out with a small family breakfast - oatmeal and fruit. Maria left for a multi-day job (she and Roy are both interpreters for the court system). Mia (their daughter) was going to take me to the community garden, but we ended up wandering all over the neighborhood. I met a few people including Tim & Sally, who have just finished a documentary looking at peak oil, climate change, etc. They have interviews w/ Daniel Quinn and Derrick Jensen, two influential authors for me. I’ll get to see it tomorrow, then we’ll have dinner and go “contra-dancing” afterwards. (I’m told it’s like square dancing). Today, we went to the Human Kindness Foundation/Kindness House (community), with whom Roy has been volunteering for 10 years. I did some office work, cut some grass (with a scythe, which I have done before, but was not prepared for this time), picked some figs, had dinner. I cut into some fallen pecans and the juices have stained my hands. Not to mention the blisters and my seasonal “molting.” Almost forgot - we started the day (before breakfast) with walking meditation or 7 minutes, then sitting meditation for 20. The house has a whole upstairs room for this purpose.
I asked Roy today if I might sit in on the business meeting Saturday and he said there are some issues/troubles in the community now and it might not be ok with everyone for me to observe.

9/19 - Tuesday
Wow! What a fucking day! Started out with some yard work - weeding, gravel allocation, had lunch and a short rest, then over to Sally & Tim’s place. The documentary What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire is great - it pulls together peak oil, climate change, economic collapse, and other big issues, but also brings in the cultural dimension - “how did we get here” - looking at the systems that have gotten us to this crisis point - the “slowly-boiling frog” stuff. It’s long - 2 hours and 20 minutes, but well worth it. It’s not finished-polished yet, but enough to send to Sundance for consideration. Dinner with them was nice - Rosemary chicken, fresh coleslaw and pesto pasta (which I’ve had 3 times now, I wonder if someone local makes it?). Then the contra dancing! OMFG awesome! Sort of like square dancing - in that there’s a caller who describes each dance before you do it, but not as white/honky as I was expecting. Dances start with a “partner,” but depending on the dance, you will probably spend more time dancing with others in the group (”neighbors”, who change after every round), in foursomes called “sets.” There were people of all ages, some very gute girls - early 20’s I’d guess - I think there were a bunch of people from a local college. The band tonight was a fiddle, keyboard, guitar trio called Red House - playing good bluegrass-y stuff - one of the better bands they’ve had recently, I’m told. I could imagine it done with hand drums. On the way there and back (about 1.5 hours each), we had some good conversation about the documentary and surrounding issues. We saw a fox, then 3 deer when we came back into Blue Heron.

9/22 - Friday
When I came in on Sunday, Roy asked me if I had any specific skills or talents. I mentioned the Permaculture class that I took and we’ve been talking about putting in an Herb Spiral since then. This morning it finally got done! Last night, I took a walk to see the 2 ponds here at BH and sat down next to one for the sunset. I witnessed fog forming on the surface of the water and swirling around, almost like it wanted to form a shape. Before I got up to leave, I saw two deer run past the pond. I ran into Murray in the garden on the way back. His building is a timerframe house insulated with straw-bale and covered with an earthen plaster finish. We talked for a while about Blue Heron. From his description, it sounded like BH has their share of interpersonal conflicts, and are working on ways to work through them. They’re planning a non-violent communication workshop for the community in the next couple months. They had considered bringing the Heart-Of-Now folk out for a session, but it sounded like some people are not ready to dig up their old emotional stuff. I feel like any community started from this culture must be a healing community.

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading Malidoma Somé’s Of Water and the Spirit, and finally finished it today. He talks about his initiation into adulthood in his home village in Africa. His people are very well connected with nature and the spirit world. He talks about magic, nature spirits, visiting other worlds. The kind of things you read about in psychadelic trips. To me it feels related to lucid dreaming, which I’m getting closer and closer to. Just the other night, I was dreaming and did a lucidity check, but failed (I asked myself if I was dreaming and decided that surely I was not). I feel myself drawn more and more toward this “spiritual” awareness path - delving into dreams, possibilities, connectedness.
9/23 - Saturday
Mia had her 5th birthday party last night - lots of folks came - maybe 10 adults, and only 1 or 2 kids. Most of the adults seemed disinterested/low-energy, etc. We had sandwiches and pizza, followed by the richest most decadent raspberry chocolate cake I’ve had this year. It reminded me of those chocolate cakes we used to get from Central Market when someone passed the Level 2 exam at DJ (you guys know what I’m talking about). I left this morning before the business meeting started. I don’t feel like Blue Heron is what I’m looking for in a community to live in at this stage in my life, but my experience here has been wonderful - much more than I expected. I give thanks.

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