Trials by fire, and healing.

Dear Sunaina,

Is it odd that I don’t really think about what happens after we die? I figure, if it’s for me to know then I’ll know, but I don’t yet. This tangible world is so amazing. What we have explored of its possibilities is miniscule.

The human world as we know it is in its infancy. Our short lives, these specks in the scope of time, will be unknown to the generations that, one day, will race to escape our Sun’s rising heat. I have no certainty in what tomorrow will bring, and no clue what my death will. The best that I can do with my life is to own the responsibility of the choices that I make, enjoy the rewards, and to be good to the world around me. There is no perfect person, as Oscar Wilde said, “The only difference between a sinner and a saint is that, every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”, and if we strive to be the best of ourselves every day, and accept that we will fail at times, surely we gain, we become better, we will not fail every day or even the majority of them. What we practice in our lifetime helps or hinders that generation, who will never have any idea about us, to beat the Sun and to find a new place to settle, in this incredible, tangible, and unimaginably amazing world that we are a part of. That’s the heavenly place I can fathom, my goal, to better myself and humanity in some small way.
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For the last three weeks it’s been cloudy, rainy, and very wet. It’s a good thing but I’m hopeful to see the sun all day one of these days soon, it usually just pops out for an hour or two and then gets cloudy and wet. Apparently it’s not common for this area, but also not unknown. Mother nature is showing off all around us, the seasons are here with a vengeance, in full force. There’s a massive street-melting heat wave in parts of India, thousands have died, major flooding in China, a major eruption in Japan, new volcanic activity off of the Oregon coast, earthquakes all over the west coast, flooding and wild storms in southern California, Central US, Texas, and Louisiana, likely lots that I have missed, and not to mention Nepal. There is a major common factor in all of these things. The events are threatening or disrupting the grid, and people are losing their lives because they are losing connection with their safety nets. It’s times like these that make principles of self-sufficiency, philosophical independence, permaculture, and sustainable lifestyles, obviously advantageous. By the individual, and family, making themselves more secure they relieve what would otherwise become a burden on the rest of society to provide for them in times of need. Do you remember the story about the ant and the grasshopper? Modern consumer culture is gluttonous and short sighted like the grasshopper, not even deliberately so, but the ant works to be able to take care of himself in times of trouble, and as such he supports his own life and carries on through hard times and grand.

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I’ve had some depression over the last month or so.

this is a dramatization...

this is a dramatization…

When I came here I did my best to not have expectations, and it worked very well, however; I expected that I would have the ability to be more freely creative, and to actually do some significant projects in my time here, and that has turned out to not be the case. It’s a bit disappointing. It is turning into a costly 6 month vacation, which is nice but not what I wanted. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to come here, it’s been eye opening and inspiring, and for the first time I am actually confident that I can pull off my goals. I’ve also managed to inadvertently use my talent for pissing people off unintentionally lately. No one in this community, but in my personal life. You know well, by now, how good I am at not trying to be a jerk while being a huge one. That said, it happens and people that know me know that I mean well. I’m pretty much over the funk. I was also sick for several weeks, with some kind of lung infection, and I’m starting to kick that as well it seems. In my attempts to get out of the funk I invited some people to stay up here, and it was very nice. 3 girls from Sweden stayed a weekend with me, they got to relax on the quiet mountain side for a few days, we cooked, worked in the garden, and I gave them lots of time to be with themselves in private, a rare treat for couchsurfing travelers, so I know they enjoyed it. The next weekend I had an Austrian couple up, and we did the same, it was a great time together. Everyone was very nice, we saw horses, watched sunsets, went for walks, laughed, and it was good medicine for me.

Good company

Good company

New friends.

I also started going to a Chiropractor. My physical pain over these years has been wearing me down, and lately compounding with whatever else is going on, I’ve been very tired in every sense. I decided to seek help. So far, in 4 visits, she’s given me 8 adjustments and for the first time in years I can turn my head to the right without feeling like my neck was going to break. No longer do I have to turn my shoulders/torso, just my neck. I cannot tell you how nice that is! She has also put several ribs back in place, that have been out for years, and has started to adjust my hips, pelvis, and collarbone which have been torqued and out of place for years. Both of my car accidents were 10 years ago this month, and I forgot what it was like to not be in pain. I should have gone to a chiropractor then, but western medicine sent me to physical therapy which essentially did nothing beneficial for me. 2 years of physical therapy and 10 years of pain, yet in 4 visits to the chiropractor I feel better than I have in a long, long time. I scheduled 5 more visits! Yoga may be in my future.

Someone, a local hamburger vendor, has decided to graze their cattle illegally on state land here. I don’t care too much, because in reality it’s probably better for the land than letting it sit, but there are several bulls, cows, and calves roaming this area which makes it a situation that warrants caution. Trail running is not something we do out here anymore, after the neighbor was nearly charged. I still walk everywhere, though, and have been following game trails around just for fun. It exposes a whole new world, the perspective of wildlife, and it’s actually been pretty refreshing and enjoyable.

When I came up with “Yarden of Eden” a few years ago it was with the idea that I could travel to war-torn and oppressed places, like Israel and Palestine, and areas in the Middle East/Africa, to set up Aquaponics and Permaculture systems, and to educate them on the benefits of that. Since then I have found a number of people doing similar things. It’s still a long term goal to join them in charitable contributions to communities in need. As time passed and the idea became more refined I wanted to get people in Urban and Suburban environments to implement permaculture and sustainable concepts into their homes and lives. Most people live in these areas, and so the areas of greatest suffering in times of emergency are those places. It’s the most practical approach, I believe, since I am not a person with assets. Those who are working on these projects in far off, poverty stricken places, have personal wealth and investors. Neither of which I have, so consultation and education may be my best option. My home will be a small mostly sustainable homestead, but people don’t need to live like that to become more self-sufficient and secure. Most people aren’t interested in it either, something that has become abundantly clear over the years. When people realize that they can save, or make, thousands of dollars a year, and have more with less, just by gardening, it will catch on.

Being in such an isolated place, an island with a small population, it has been made clear that the problems that most communities face are apathy and complacency of the local population. Here in Hawaii I don’t see anyone throwing trash out of their cars, except for locals. I don’t see anyone stopping in the middle of the road, on a blind curve, but the locals. I haven’t seen anyone impose on the safety of others, by doing things like grazing cattle outside of their property where people live, but the locals. This applies to local populations everywhere. At least it does for my home state of Louisiana, and the other 40 states and 5 countries that I’ve spent time in. Rioters don’t burn other people’s cities, they burn their own because they are short sighted and angry. I posted a question on Facebook, where I have 820+ friends, about what they think the greatest dividers and unifiers of people around the world are, and I got 7 answers from people. If I post a cute or funny picture, or post a controversial topic, I might get 50+ likes/replies. I know that people are busy, but in reality many are happy being apathetic and complacent…because this world is hurting, and people don’t want to hurt with it. People spend too much time trying to feel good, and radiating what they see as good energy, but it’s important to get mad sometimes, to really voice an opinion about something that is imposing on a person. A life without struggle is a life without joy, and a life without anger is a life without happiness, as there is no good day without one that challenges us. It’s individuals, us, wherever we call home, who have to drive a community to betterment, as it cannot drive itself. Community betterment doesn’t come from simply sitting by, or picking it up and by point a finger, sometimes we have to pick up the trash that people throw in our paths and give it back to the people that threw it.

This is my final letter for now, but I’ll still write blogs when the inspiration strikes. It’s been a fun adventure and I’m glad that I could write to someone to share the experience. Thank you for letting me target you with my drivel and dreams, and for being so supportive and helping me make this blog and web page. I hope your research is going well, and life. It’s always a blessing to know someone cares.

I know you liked the little biointensive garden that I made, which has completely taken off! It seemed to be stunted but after all of this rain things changed and it’s powerful, flowering, and fruiting. I even got to eat the first peas off of the vine.

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Aloha nui loa,

Colin

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