Just finished the audio book version of Starhawks “The Fifth Sacred Thing” – what a crazy awesome trip down a utopia hole.
Its about the coexistence and the clash between a religio-fascist-capitalistic culture with an eco-utopia. Set 2048 in what today would be called San Francisco. It single handedly shows how nonviolent resistance works, how permaculture can shape a country for the better, how to start a revolution that actually brings us forward. Its a book that gives hope.
The immense amount of detail is at times a lot to bear – this is no book for cheap thrills but half way through you ain’t putting it down. I could have done without some of the magic as this might throw of some readers. Yet its fiction and it shows another dimension to the human soul – one we have not tapped in modern times – one that can not be quantified. I think it has its place in there for sure it could have taken a bit a backseat to driving the story but if you can get over that read this book. Its contemporary value as a positive idea of how our future and its struggles could work out are priceless.
The world building is phenomenal and coherent and extreme in its detail. All the functions of that society and how they interact and how normal life looks like and what kind of life philosophies can get along with another. Also it shows lots of different faces of resistances and how they are not working together and therefore failing – its all there and its stunning.
The seamless contrasting of an exaggerated current culture with what could be is mind opening. Make no mistake – this is at times totally brutal. When the protagonist wanders into the neo-christian-fascists world you have to have a strong stomach. Its crazy horrific what goes on there (children that are half-artificially bred (by mothers who couldn´t pay their bills) so they can be brutally raped to death f.e.) but its not out of the realm of possibilities that we get there rather sooner then later judging the current timeline. This part is inherently important because even with all the horrors thrown at them – with the possibility that the inhabitants of the eco utopia being swallowed by the nazi mob and everything is lost – they stay nonviolent to the end and that is the greatest gift that book can give us going forward.
Its such a great name for so many reasons that I think it fits this blog perfectly.
Wildwood is a small village in Alberta Canada just outside of the Oil City Edmonton. The village used to be on the main northern Canada Highway so the biggest feature in the town is a Motel with all sorts of amenities – bar, automatic teller machien, you can sell silver – that sort of stuff.
Thing is government rerouted the highway and now its just an offramp that you will very likely overlook (if you are not desperate for a place to sleep). That kinda killed the village which seemed to had a good life on the road. The Motel is scraping by and you don´t have any visitors to the bar on a normal night other then the odd local. When I was there there was the bar tender, one guy my age (the wood cutter) and the owner in the bar on a Saturday night. So you have all sorts of concepts about the deplorables in a village like this. Yes they are calling themself rednecks. Yes they drive pickups – yet I talked to them for a long long night and it was stunning what I got to know.
Continue reading “Why WildWood?”
Its been 6 years to the day when I last put words on a blog I call my own – a blog I had started all the way back in 2003. There have been two guest blogging adventures in the time between but generally I have been pretty absent from this side of the web resorting to twitter mostly to get my most pressing thoughts out and share some interesting findings without much comment.
So what has changed? I have changed. The world has changed. I didn´t feel like I could add anything substantial to the web in the last years. I went through a lot of transformation. One could say I found my soul. Permaculture has entered my life. I have grown older – more thoughtful (hopefully ;). Most importantly I have become way more positive. I think the world needs a substantial debate about ways forward that are constructive and cheerful. I have had enough from dystopian views shaping our future. I also departed from the tech positive world view to enter life under the ethics of permaculture: Earth Care, People Care and Creating and Sharing Surpluses.
Its personal surpluses that I intend to share here. Ideas, thoughts, stories, pictures – from my life on the farm, in nature, with awesome people online and offline.
So as this sounds all cheerful and great – there will be times where I might vent my frustrations here. Sometimes things have to get out – we live in difficult times and they get to everybody with a little bit of brain left. Its therapeutic to get them out – so this will be (hopefully a small) part here for sure – I won´t hold back. I will try though to add constructive ideas if there are any but don´t hold me to it.
While I write this for me mostly I hope there are things that some of you like, that cheer you up, that activate you to actions, that start beautiful discussions. If you have something to discuss, say, share with me or just want to add let me know – comments will be open or send a mail.