Rocket Mass Heater Plans: Annex 6" L-shaped Bench by Ernie and Erica
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Michael Forest

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since Aug 15, 2012
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Recent posts by Michael Forest

Old tunes, old guys, silk smooth emotion, all heart, wonderful concert:

7 years ago
I and others have touched upon this dilemma under "aging in place". What your talking about is something which is derived from a culture's soul. Unfortunately the United States doesn't have reverence for the elderly as part of it's foundation. Here is an excerpt from a recent Bill Moyers program,interviewing David Suzuki:

BILL MOYERS: Don't you think that we hope to grow old but dread old age?

DAVID SUZUKI: Well, yes. I mean, no one, I called myself an elder reluctantly. But having seen the role of elders in First Nations communities, it's something that I now feel very proud to say I am an elder. Elders in a First Nations community, go to a feast or an event, when an elder walks in the room they're like rock stars, you know. They're the repository of all of that long traditional knowledge that's been again hard won over thousands of years. And that is passed on.

Contrast that with our main modern concern about aging - economics. People are worried about being able to afford the nursing home (if needed), let alone even beginning to think about what it,the nursing home, symbolizes and says about our society.

It's good you bring this topic up. It is a long evolving process which involves a sense of community and deep understanding of place as well. It will take more than a few generations to begin to take root here. If we don't strive to move the discussion into the realm of public discourse there won't be much of a chance for aging to gain true value.

As Wendell Berry was asked ( in a interview with, I think, Naomi Klein) about how do we Americans who live so much through our computers find true home. His reply was to find a place and begin the thousand year process.
8 years ago
bruce cockburn call it democracy

8 years ago
I've noticed no mention of the book of the same name, consisting of his initial diary entries covering the period of the cabin and beyond. The book adds much more depth, infers his reasons for prefering the company of Nature most of the time. He liked people but at the same time was frustrated by the thoughtless attitudes of many "hunters" who came to the region. He loved "glassing", watching all that was happening around him. Preparing a simple but hardy meal excited him.

Since the writings are diary collections ( although edited, which he didn't particularly like) you get the sense of the daily routines, which the film can't really cover. And it is the small daily things which hold the most meaning for Dick. A contemplative person who found his heart's desire.

Only about a third of his writings were published via that book. The rest is held by the USFS and one or two more volumes may be published.
8 years ago
I want to clarify what I meant by trying to get potential candidates to think. This is not a generational thing at all. Thinking about one's personal future from a planning perspective which could plausibly be implemented is challenging to most people. It is hard work and can take a lot,really a lot, of contemplation. The ability to do this has been a cultural deficit for a long time. Some people claim critical thinking is not needed in the age of the internet. In the context of Ellen's quest she is defining, for her, an aspect of responsibility which is important to achieving a successful relationship.
8 years ago
Ellen,thank you for starting this important topic. Actually this revitalizes the discussions on aging in place,long term homesteading and property legacy challenges, but with a more pronounced focus. We thought initially in our search for homesteading/ forest stewardship "partners", that we could easily make this happen as a win-win as we have not been primarily on the money side of things. That has not turned out to be the case. Communication through words with complex issues can easily dissolve into projections rather than confirmed agreement. Asking, asking, asking, what the other party means regarding specific requirements, capabilities, etc is essential.

As to Ellen's desire for a business plan coming from the interested party - why not? My interpretation (IMO) for such a requirement is simply to see how well the potential candidates "think" about what they're getting into. The landless individuals simply want to be told what is expected of them. As an example, probably few candidates understand the special tax structure when one has their property in say agricultural or timber status. There are limitations to one can legally do. The point here being the risk for having someone live on an owner's property lies with the owner. So for seekers to want some assuring commitment from the owner regarding longevity, it's understandable from a human nature point of view,but not from social system reality.

All in all property negotiation is complex running the gamut from the logical to the emotional. Homesteading lifestyle makes it even more difficult. I say this because: where are the success stories?
8 years ago

Judith Browning wrote:Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed.....I am not sure of the title and don't have the tape with me at the library computer...but it is one of those haunting melody and lyric songs...I listened to it on her album last week and it is still going through my head. something like..."In our sleep, in our sleep, listen to the drum beat as we we speak, as we speak, listen to the drum beat in our sleep." I probably have the words all jumbled up but maybe that is enough to go by to find it on line. She is a wonderful story teller with a beautiful voice....I tend to get obsessed and wander where the musician takes me...Lou Reed led to Laurie and now I am listening to Patti Smith (not Smyth) records...another excellent poet. Sorry I have no links for these.

Judith, the song In Our Sleep is from Laurie' s album Bright Red. I have a lot of her music,saw her in concert three or four times, would have loved to have seen the performance of her epic: United States of America.

Lou Reed, from the soundtrack Until the End of the World: the last stansa from What's Good --

What good is life without living
What good's this lion that barks
You loved a life others throw away nightly
It's not fair, not fair at all

What's good ?
Not much at all

What's good ?
Life's good -
But not fair at all

From Until the End of the World
8 years ago

Your two posts here are so succinct and the most important ones I've read on this site. Oh,and of course, IMO.
8 years ago

Judith Browning wrote:Paul Winter "Inside" 1968 ...playing flute in the Taj Mahal
just found my second copy on vinyl...really nice.

A small correction it was Paul Horn not Paul Winter.
8 years ago