09 June, 2013

To Anyone in the World Who Cares

Writing this feels entirely too self-preoccupied right now but my thoughts on interning at the ecovillage, as naked as I can possibly convey them are of utmost importance right now.

I had a conversation with Patricia early on about living in community. Communities, such as ecovillages attract a lot of transients, a lot of hippies, but being there one has to confront oneself. I knew early on that moving across country for a half year would not be a panacea to cure my depression or any of my other various health ailments(chronic allergies and asthma and general weakness of physical constitution) but I hoped beyond hope that something would give or that I would at least survive.

So far, I have survived. I came in and the first few days was in quite a haze. The first week I slept between 12 and 14 hours a day- closer to 10 or 11 now counting my frequent naps. I quickly acclimitized to living in a house of between 10 and 14 people, although I doubt I'll ever get used to the various dishes laying around, I can't complain about the housemates(no thieves, drunken liars or crack smokers) and given that I am the eldest of the interns at the house have taken to doing the best I can in hopes that I am something of a positive example. The others are college age or a bit older, definitely more social than I, but equally lost in different ways than I.

Yoga practice and running have opened most days, or hiking. I have been eating good food, although simple- grits for breakfast , usually a pb sandwich for lunch and rice and beans with salads and greens and potatoes mostly. In the mornings, there are a few hours of work and in the afternoons a few as well. It is not a lot of work and allows for a lot of time for reflection and resting. Although the work is not particularly hard, sleep often comes at midday after working in the garden or doing cobbing or whatever work had needed been done. I suppose it is what my body needs although at times it seems excessive. I then work a few more hours in the afternoon, after napping and try to work on my art projects which I have trouble keeping track of many days and so get little done(its mostly writing ideas for animations that I want to work on). I also work on mindfulness and other spiritual readings and half the time delve into pap like Stephen King because I feel tired and lazy. The house socializing seems to take up too much of my time other than that, although it's not necessarily a bad thing, I realise I need to be more clear and be OK with not always being social. Usually I try to be helpful but I need to balance my own needs as well as others desires to chat mindlessly, which I don't usually find interesting.

The ecovillage in general has been a welcoming place although it is definitely challenging. I feel like some aspects of communal living are beneficial, although very often I wish I had more of my own space to work in and garden in and could decide when and how to interact. I wonder if this would lead me in particular to being more isolated but I think it could work. I like being off-grid in general and out of the city, but realise the challenges of making this work. I appreciate the other workers in the house- especially being around much younger folks it has made me reflect a lot on my own pessimism and self-defeating nature, wonder why I always try to work so hard and try to regain some of that lost dream that seemed so approachable when I was 20 or so.

The ecovillage in North Carolina does not quite feel like North Carolina, or maybe not what I expected it to feel like. Many of the residents are transplants, so there is very little southern twang and the climate and area supports a lot of very liberal minded folks. Happily, there is a good mixture of ideals at Earthaven. No hive-mind although everyone is trying to live more sustainably.

I guess I am not sure exactly what I wanted to convey here. I am doing ok although my weak stomach and allergies and such are a hindrance. I am learning a lot although I am worried where I will go after this as I don't want to go back to being homeless and I need to keep hope somehow and doing that with crappy part time illustration work has been more frustrating than I want to admit and I'm more depressed and suicidal than most realise even though I seem to complain about it way too much.

OK that's enough writing from me. I hope everyone is doing well or at the least, hanging in there and not giving up hope, least of all on oneself even if one has made a lot of mistakes or has a hard time finding hope as I often do.

1 comment:

Andrea Schamis said...

Oz: Good to read this, in general it sounds like a nice life! I wonder why you are still so depressed, and think perhaps your expectations about life in general may be unduly false, and so you think yours is worse than that of others. TRY TO COMPARE YOURSELF ONLY WITH YOURSELF, AND SEE HOW YOU MEASURE UP.

One question: what the heck is "cobbing?"

Your life right now sounds idyllic to me!