T and I recently treated ourselves to a viewing of the new Christopher Nolan flick “Inception”. The plot centers on a sci-fi technology that allows other people to inhabit, view, and influence one’s dreams. The plot weaves in and out of sub-conscious realms, dreams within dreams, and impossible landscapes. When we emerged from the matinee, blinking madly against the surreally bright sunlight, Taylor commented that the film somehow captured his feelings about the last 3 months. I knew instantly what he meant. It is as if a sprite slipped us a potion that suddenly transported us to a strange and wildly disorienting land; a world where everything is more intense, and yet somehow blurry – vibrating – like we are characters in a brightly colored Van Gogh painting.
I’m referring to the dramatic changes we’ve experienced in landscape, coloring, and climate, moving from New Mexico to North Carolina; but also to the emotional experience of choosing a different approach to life, seeking more satisfying work, and searching for new community. At times we have experienced inspiration, grief, passion, confusion, doubt, revelation and joy almost simultaneously. Like in a dream, there is a sense of having arrived in this moment without knowing how we got here, and of proceeding without having any foresight into where it is going. I commented to someone the other day that I feel as if I am looking at life through a frosted window – everything is foggy. We can’t imagine that we did this to ourselves, that we chose this – and we repeatedly surprise ourselves as we continue to choose it.
I think we continue to choose it because, while disorienting and at times frightening, the dream is also quite magical. T and I have shared amazing experiences that we never imagined we would do when we married 5 years ago; milking cows, bucking hay, raising a calf, slaughtering a rooster, nurturing dozens of veggies, freezing greens and canning jam. We’ve lived without (and sometimes sorely missed) our big cushy sofa and king sized bed, a Whole Foods grocery around the corner, cell phones and fancy restaurants; but we got swimming holes, mountain hikes, fresh-picked berries, and pastures filled with fireflies in exchange. Yes, we’ve bickered, and even blown up, about trivial and fundamental things; but we’ve also faced some demons, built trust and endurance, reified our shared values and vision, and grown closer. We’ve been warmly welcomed by new friends, and gained mentors in other couples who have chosen a similar path – and were surprised to find how numerous and successful they are. We’ve experienced a new connection to animals, plants, land, and food that we longed for but did not know before.
Tomorrow marks an end and a beginning for us, as we move from the launching pad H & M have provided for us to the next phase. We are so grateful to have found H & M, who have been so generous with their space, time, friends, food, and wisdom, and have been cheerleaders for the pursuit of the surreal dream we’ve chosen.
In “Phase 2” we’re going to continue gardening, and hope to get our own chickens and bees. We’ll be devoting a good bit of our time searching for paid employment and ways to fund a small farm – and then we’ll be hunting for land! So there should be plenty more for me to ramble on about for those who care to follow along. T has discovered he enjoys the hands-on aspect of farming way more than writing about it, so it looks like the blog will just be my own impressions from now on. If he finds sudden inspiration I’ll feature him as a guest blogger. Since its now mine (all mine! mwah-ah-ah!), I might be changing the name and some other details – and I’ll be sure to post any changes to this site so that you can find me.