Saturday, October 25, 2008


I am hoeing up a storm in the overgrown garden. How fitting that i should be doing this, while these thoughts of old-timey roots revolution pound through my head. Or perhaps it's because of what i'm doing.

With the jabs in the dirt goes a monologue something like...

"I will not," jab, "let them," jab, "do it for me," jab, jab. "My destiny is mine." Jab. A determined face. Shaking, overwrought arms.

I am sifting through the weeds in the garden on this October day -- putting things in place to thrive again come spring. This patch of dirt empowers me. Here, i am hoeing my own piece of the planet, instead of hoeing myself out for someone else's gain.

At this point in my life i have not mastered the luxury of being in charge of my own day-to-day, every day, but i have made a start. All of us must carry out the logistical tasks of this existence -- food, water, shelter... but the more we do ourselves, the more able we are to have a say in how things are made. It is hard to be unconscious to the How when you are going through the steps yourself.

So i suppose there are a few kinds of things we do in this world. There are things we do in exchange for money, which do not benefit us in the long run, but do give us funds for carrying out our lives. In these things we offer up what might seem to others to be the best of ourselves -- usually a lot of your effort for someone else's monetary gain.

Then are the things we do for our direct benefit -- the garden, or biking where you need to go, or chopping your own wood. These are the most powerful things we can do, on a personal level. These are perhaps not as pleasant, but they can be enjoyed for their autonomy factor. And the sweet crunch of a fresh-grown carrot in your mouth is not bad either...

And then there are the things we do purely for others, not for our own benefit, per se, but for the greater good. We do these things without thought of gain or loss, or exchange of services. Maybe. I say maybe because even if we are doing them, i see that so little do we honestly aspire to these things. I could play benevolent holy mother here and say 'i volunteer at two non-profits, look at me...' or i could admit that my intentions with both are more about serving myself.

But what benefits the whole also benefits me... so i suppose there are really just two things you do in life. Things that benefit you and yours, and things that don't. I know which one all the hoeing in the garden benefits; and all the hoeing behind a desk, i know who that benefits too. Question is, how to do more of the dirt-kind of hoeing, and less of the filthy-kind...

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