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Paul continues his call with Ash Jackson, Ashley Cottonwood, and Jen Richardson on the subject of the Click.

They start off talking about community and how their relationships changed after the click and there’s a consensus that maintaining relationships with the un-clicked is usually more trouble than it’s worth.  If they at least don’t try and stage an intervention, then keeping sort-of in touch can be nice, but all present said that overall relationships were less important than saving the planet.  In short: most communities suck.  

Wheaton labs has enough of a residual income stream that it mostly keeps itself afloat, albeit with occasional cash injections.  Ash has a work-y job that pays more than minimum wage, but finds it neutering to be doing something for so long that has nothing to do with permaculture.  Ashley tried seasonal work, but still found it miserable to corral pyromaniacal campers and pick up broken glass.  Jen teaches tiny people to how to ski.  That’s nicer.  Paul was a software engineer, a job that perhaps changes more than any other and he went to large conferences about it and spent a great deal of time staying on top of the job, but after the click, he didn’t want to spend all his time staying on top of a job that the was increasingly apathetic about.

Jen brings up that her dad is a major builder, but doesn’t trust natural building materials beyond wood.  Part of the reason why a lot of people have these hangups is that they have to feel the finished article in order to believe that it’s possible.  You can say that a RMH heats a room on 1/10th the wood, but they won’t believe you until they’ve been in a room with one working.

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Lots of thoughts came through my mind while I listened to those 2 podcasts (The Click part 1 and 2). Probably I can't really explain in written English words ...
I think many more people did feel The Click ... but they are (still) in the frustrated phase. They KNOW they need to DO it, but they CAN'T do it completely now, for Reasons (as Ash said). They do what they can, given their circumstances or situation.
One of the Reasons can be the country you're living in. In the USA money can be a problem, but often it's the only thing that keeps people from living a 100% permaculture life. In other countries there are more things than only the money-thing (like laws, lack of land, etc.) making it impossible to live a 100% permaculture life. Some people then make the choice to leave the country ...

Anyway: I did think of leaving this country, but then it did not feel like the right thing to do. Small permaculture initiatives are starting up here, even in my own sub-urban neighbourhood. If I stay here, I can be part of that, help it grow larger, make more people here aware of permaculture ... It isn't the 100% permaculture life, but it reaches more others than if I would become like a Gert living a permaculture life far away on my own.
And there's another reason why I can't go and live all on my own in my own Gert-like 'bubble' ...

There's another thing in my life. In fact I experienced two Clicks. To me they are ONE, like two sides of the same coin. But to all others I know they aren't. I have one set of Principles To Follow in my life, which I find in the bible AND in permaculture. To me those two belong together ...
But I am 'the crazy garden sister' in the view of people on one side of me, while I am 'the permie with the bible' in the viewpoint of the people on the other side. And I can not manage to get those both groups together ... Being part of them both, I can't live the life I want to live for 100%.

That was the story I wanted to tell to you. I won't tell more, because this forum isn't the place for it.
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This series has seriously hit home for me, with one significant exception.

I probably 'clicked' about 2006, although I don't remember the exact event, but I do remember repeatedly thinking of some way to retrofit my city house (on 1/2 acre lot) with a Rocket Mass Heater.  I never figured that one out, although I revisited the concept every few days for the following years.  I did, however, build my own horizontal trough type beehive and set it up on the second floor deck.  I also ordered and built a single cylinder Lister CS-6 diesel engine, and began to collect used vegetable oil from a local bar. In short, a lot of urban permie-like projects that were destined to fail in the long run; simply because I lived within the jurisdiction of a Department-of-making-you-sad.

Ultimately, my family & I moved out of the city to a 14 acre wooded lot; but I've made little progress towards Gertitude because my wife is not on board, and stifles my ideas for "her" lawn. I have been married for 25 years, have 5 kids, and absolutely will not sacrifice that relationship; click or no click.

The best that I've been able to do is an EPA certified woodstove, using wood both collected from our own property and diverted from the waste stream of my employer.  After 7 winters at our new property, I'm a true master at wood heat in this particular model of woodstove; but I also understand that such experience means very little once I buy another woodstove, and nothing at all if I every get a RMH built. I have also been able to start a huglecultre, as well as interplanting of useful plants into the "lawn".  And as of this past spring, a family of beavers has moved onto the property near the rear, and as a result I've been able to prevent their destruction by simply forbidding their hunting or removal by neighbors (and forbidding my sons from interfering with them). Fortunately, they didn't build on the stream that forms the "border" of the property with the rear neighbor, but on a tributary that runs across my property, so the state regards the entire thing (dam and flooded zone) to be exclusively my own concern.

I've also learned some valuable lessons too; for example, I know that sweet potatoes grow wonderfully in unimproved Kentucky soil, but they will attract moles from an enormous distance; and that white-tailed deer love kale. We got some kale, through cut & come again; but by September both the sweet potatoes & the kale were eaten into destruction. We didn't eat any sweet potatoes at all.
Getting married means "We're in love, so let's tell the police!" - and invite this tiny ad to the wedding:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
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