Wednesday, November 30, 2005

revelations from pre-blogging days

I was going through my hard drive at work yesterday, and I made a startling discovery: I did write some before I started blogging. I even liked some of it. While the vast majority of it would not have made it past the "publish post" button on this blog, I will share a couple of passages that are significant. I think it is important to go back and read these from time to time, to look in the rear view mirror and see the road I have traveled, to see that while the steps I make from day to day may not seem like much they do add up and I still have goals and dreams.

From 9/28/2004:

Here is where my dreams live. Here is where they are listed so they will not be forgotten.

  1. My own house. Designed and built by me and my partner.
  2. My fabulous gardens. Stone walls, greenhouse, and flowers everywhere. Huge compost piles, raised beds and every food plant imaginable for a longer part of the year than ever thought possible.
  3. My music. Shared with good friends, a few performances, recording...
  4. Traveling to heirloom seed shows and festivals.
  5. Being in love. Really, totally in love. Because being in love is being in life.
  6. Living a simple, low-impact, sustainable, deliberate, spiritual life.

I have felt more alive lately. I have breathed in clear blue skies and warm sunshine and gold and laughter and dancing. That’s it. I want to go dancing. And I can do it.

And from 1999:

On social activism:

Right now I have two chances to raise a child. I have two chances to guide and teach an individual person to be a loving, passionate, caring human being. It is my duty to provide for their needs until they are able and ready to provide for themselves; to set fair limits and expectations and abide by them consistently; to teach them the workings of the world, the importance of knowledge and the consequences of ignorance; to teach them to think critically and seek the truth; to teach them to value true beauty and create it where it is needed; to help them appreciate the mystery and wonder in life. In doing this I have great power and responsibility. My actions among adults can do little to persuade or change the values of a lifetime, but my actions with these children will impact generations to come. The job I have before me is the most difficult task a person can face, and will take all the time and energy I can put into it. I am not the person to ask to give of myself to help a cause, no matter how noble, because my life is now filled with a nobler cause by far. Let the young idealists and the old cynics battle it out with their wars of words, let the scholars and poets keep searching for the truth. Maybe some day when my task is done I will join them. But for now I am a mother, and that is all anyone can ask of me.


As an addendum to the above, yes, I must be an example of the kind of person I wish my children to be. I must invite the natural world into our backyard, grow organic vegetables in the garden, and take notice of the natural wonders of the day. I must teach my children to evaluate issues like where food and electricity come from and whether they are produced in a way that is harmful to ecosystems and people. When appropriate, I should take whatever action I can if it will teach by example. But spending too much time on activism could become a lesson in despair and teach the children to become premature cynics. If I bombard them with statistics on global overpopulation and beat my head against a brick wall fighting battles and making little gain, it will do no good and perhaps encourage apathy.

Interesting how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same. And how sometimes I can't tell the difference.


Jim said...


This is a very beautiful post that says so much about who you are.

madcapmum said...

Lovely. You've put down the real things of life, and I love your definition of "activism".

Deb said...

I apologize for the strange HTML stuff some of you may be seeing. It looked fine at work, where I have Firefox, but here at home with Explorer some strange stuff shows up. Probably because I cut and pasted from MS Word--I have never had good luck with that and Blogger. I don't seem to be able to fix it right now. Sorry! :)

Rexroth's Daughter said...

How wonderful to discover your own treasures like that. Isn't it great to find former pieces of yourself and still be able to identify with them? Your words about being a mother are magnificent, Deb. Your insights and perceptions are beautifully sharp. I love what you already knew back in 1999, and your plans are coming to fruition. Lovely.

BTW-- I didn't see any HTML glitches. Must be fixed. On the other hand, I'm using Firefox.

Anonymous said...

NICE post.

Deb said...

Thank you, RD and Thingfish. Now if I could only come up with more where that came from these days...

by the way, I fixed the strange html stuff.

Floridacracker said...

Love your wish list, but what really impressed me was the WISDOM about being a parent and activism.
There is something so sad about a cynical child, and they don't get that way on their own.

Just raise some great kids and you will have made this earth a better place.

Take care.