What Makes Community?


August 22, 2017, Prescott-

This evening, I attended a  gathering of Prescott Area School Gardens, aka Slow Food Prescott.   There were several small presentations about various garden projects, at both public and private schools, across the western half of Yavapai County.  The ensuing discussions broached upon several topics, including what, if any, are the rights of those who don’t support small agricultural projects?

A small group,  in the town of Humboldt, led by the town’s elementary school principal and a local landscaper, are pushing to remove the school’s garden, because its stewards are using organic farming techniques, will not allow Roundup, and other poisons, to be used in the garden area and are “taking up space that could be used for buildings.”  It’s even been said that these gardeners are teaching values that are at variance with local values.  What those local values are, is not quite clear.

There has been, in the media, reference to “the Hate Community”, following Charlottesville.   I wonder, does this mean there is an equal and opposite “Love Community”?  How about an “Indifference Community?”  The “White Community” is, supposedly, to be set apart from the “Black Community”, “Latino Community”, “Native American Community”,etc.  Do each of these communities have their pot luck dinners,  Kumbaya circles and support groups?

I have never been wholly accepted into a particular community, save my Baha’i Faith, and the online Archaeology for the Soul group. I have many friends who belong to various communities, but there are always those in a given group, for whom my presence is somehow a threat. Part of that is my peripatetic nature.  There is also the rapidity with which people form impressions of others, based on relatively brief encounters, real and perceived slights and lack of sustained communication.

I maintain that anonymity is largely to blame for estrangement, breakdowns in communication, or the lack of same.  It’s too easy to turn a stranger into a strawman. It is too easy to build false zones of security, based on opinions and practices that are themselves rooted in ignorance, superstition and hearsay.  Five minutes on social media offer proof enough of this.

It is also too easy to stick with one’s annoyance at another, based on one incident.  I have not, in nearly 67 years, had the luxury of holding onto grudges and resentments, and have had my fair share of bullies and haters.  Oftentimes, those same people have resurfaced in my life, as changed people, and/or as people in clear need of assistance.  I don’t regret my decision to see them as friends.

Communities, like individuals, are in various stages of growth, and will find themselves in conflict, as a result.  I do not, however, think that there is a “Hate Community”, or even a completely insular ethnic community, sufficient unto itself.  The world has just become too connected, and despite the fact that this means discord will chafe at our individual and collective skin, as a true World Community is formed, the long-term ramifications of this process are nothing short of glorious.

So, what does this mean for the “Roundup Community”?  It probably means a temporary ‘victory” over the organic farmers, given the mindset of our governmental agencies.  Long term, poisons will not be able to be administered in small enough doses to avoid permanent damage to soil, water and public health.   They will also prove ineffective against evolving pests, whose predators already exist in nature, and which are also evolving.   My overall point, in this rambling, is that life is going to continue, according to the Greater Plan of our Creator, Who will not abide its arbitrary extinction.

NOTE:  My remaining travel posts from July are awaiting my ability to pay for an upgrade to this Word Press account, so as to get unlimited storage for the photographs which enhance such posts. This should not take longer than a few more days.

The Road to 65, Mile 145: Gaia


April 22, 2015, Prescott-  A good man posed the question today:  Does picking up other people’s trash change anything?  I think it makes the place cleaner, and sends the message that at least some of us are unwilling to live a disordered life.  As for huge, earth-saving acts, these are awesome and wondrous.  They need to be well-planned, like the Rio or Paris summits.  Question:  Do these change anything?

Mother Earth has been ravaged by mankind before.  The Dark Ages and the Industrial Revolution certainly didn’t affect the planet on the scale that the current Globo-Industrial brood is so affecting it.  We are experimenting with a worldwide American lifestyle. Many want a piece of the Good Pie, understandably. It just can’t continue in the manner with which it is now being attempted.

Roundup is a serious poison.  It saves time; after all, who wants to get down on their hands and knees, and pull weeds out by the roots?  Well, I did, for the sake of healing the soil, and letting ants and worms do what they do best- work the dirt.

Tweaking genes will give well-meaning, educated people the illusion that they are producing sufficient food to satiate the multitudes.  Question :  How will the monocultural crops feed anyone when a) the soil is depleted of nutrients, from not having fallow time and b) the people eating these crops are unable to digest them?

Mass, net-based or dynamite/cyanide based fishing brings in lots of meat for the hipster sushi bars, and other eateries.  Question:  What will such people eat, once the oceans are empty and the fish farms collapse in their own filth?

Wealthy people in east Asia revel in the horn, ivory and body parts of animals whose numbers are shrinking.  They dangle huge sums of money at poverty-stricken people in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Arctic, for the sake of keeping the trade flowing.  Question:  What will happen when animals large and small (think elephants, tigers, walruses and pangolins) are hunted to extinction?  Item:  The lowland black rhinoceros already has been rendered extinct, this year.

Mining firms and agribusinesses, across the globe, buy up huge tracts of land, get governments to enact laws that gran them protection, carry out policies which deplete land and water resources, and use large teams of attorneys to try and intimidate the Great Unwashed.  We even have provisions in free trade proposals, now being considered, which would force governments and people to acquiesce to the demands of international corporations, or risk being bankrupted by a blizzard of lawsuits.  Question:  When everyone is forced to use toxic chemicals, eat genetically-modified foods, even to smoke cigarettes- then where will be, as a species?  Will we be so wealthy that we don’t care?  I wonder- Steven Jobs, Nelson Rockefeller, J. Paul Getty were wealthy men.  Did they die happy, with their financial wealth and their incurable illnesses?

Gaia, our Home Base, is watching, knowing she may always exercise the option of ridding herself of the errant stewards.  I am overstating things, somewhat.  Question:  Are those with overblown, simplistic solutions to the great issues likewise overstating matters?