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Drinking brandy in a tree

No customers for today - it has been a day at home. In the morning, as I was drinking my coffee, I was thinking how I felt a year ago - I was much more burdened and exhausted. This year I've better managed to control my timetables and to reduce my amount of working so that I have more time to recover. I spent most of the day preparing soil for broad beans and making benches of straw, manure and soil for pumpkins and zucchini. It is still too early to plant anything, so it is a good time to do these preparations.

One of the villagers called me and asked if I'd like to have four goats. The owner of the goats had decided to get rid of them, as they always find a way to cross the fences and go eat all of the garden. "Dead or alive", they said. I said that in any case I can't keep them alive, as I don't have enough pasture for the animals I already have, so it won't make sense to gather more animals. I promised to think about it. Simply, the question is do I feel like killing and eating four goats - it would take some time, I don't especially like the killing part of it, but it would yield a lot of free food, but it would also mean eating plenty of meat for the summer... And actually in the summer time I'd like to eat more fish. Red meat feels more like winterfood to keep one going through the cold dark days.

It made me think about my situation. I like the animals, but there is always this slightly uneasy feeling of being scarce of resources. I could use some more land for pasture. It would be great to have more free time to spend working with the horses, and more time to learn to process the wool and skins, and all that... But no matter how I look at it, there will always be only 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. If I want to do more of something, it necessarily means that I have to look at the things I'm already doing and deciding to do less of something. And if I decide to do less of massage work, then I would suffer of being low on money. Balancing, balancing =) And thinking about the alternatives; I'm happy to be self-employed, as it leaves me free to test and to experiment with different ways of arranging my work.

And one of the neighbours visited briefly, and we discussed which land areas here are for sale. Forests, fields, and lake-side places for cottages. That, again, made me think that life would be easy if I had more money - I could just buy a piece of land next to my yard, and turn that new land to a wild pasture. (Or, if I had even more money, I could buy an old farm with more land.) Since I've been doing a lot of work for the past 18 months, I guess I could just walk to the bank and ask for more loan. But is that what I want? That would mean higher monthly costs, forcing me to keep on working a lot all the time. And at the moment, most of all, I feel that I need a month with no customers. A proper holiday.

And my concept of holiday is to be able to be at home. There's a lot of things I enjoy doing. And to have time to renovate the house, with no need to worry about timetables, and no urgent feeling of running low on money. That would be a holiday. (Yes, it would be also nice to travel to distant countries, to see places and to meet people. But maybe some other year. Now I feel that most of all I'm longing for free time at my own little home.) Hmm, but maybe I could rent a piece of forest next to my yard, and make some kind of arrangement that I'm allowed to chop down some trees and make a fence for sheep.

After day's work I climbed the oak in my yard. With me I had a bottle of brandy, which my neighbours gave me when I was trimming hooves of their horses. I sat up in the tree, watching the sun set behind the forest, listening to the birds singing and swans trumpeting. The sheep mothers were eating, while the lambs ran and leaped around, playing with each other. The horses stood still and the cat catched a mouse. The cat meowed to me, and ate some of the mouse. After that she climbed the tree and joined me for a while. Then she went down again, and I saw her walking down the road away from my yard. Sipping the brandy I was slowly pondering about my life, feeling and balancing things. And, somehow, I felt that it is going to be a nice summer.

Ah, I also wrote some lines of javascript code. Here is an updated version of the Gaia-demo. Now you can also expand an urban area and test around with how it affects the temperature. As the urban area is dark in colour, it absorbs a lot of sunlight, making the temperature rise. And the more there is urban area, the less the flower populations are able to maintain the balance.

life is good
life is good
"what are you doing up there?"
"what are you doing up there?"
feeling and balancing things
feeling and balancing things
sunset seen through a bottle of brandy
sunset seen through a bottle of brandy
651 users have voted.


Just planted some giant runner beans, weird greek variety - more like broad beans, and some heritage squash in my greenhouse!

Great! All the best wishes for the gardening season!

Although I absolutely know life would be much easier with money and that money does equal happiness in some cases... My goals and aspirations become blurred as the days pass by. Along with that, my motivation is no where to be found. There were days before where I could tell myself: if I don't study for this class, I will never succeed in life. I later learned that it was quite easy to get by with the minimum and succeed. Unfortunately, the minimum is now rock bottom since I can't seem to sack up and do the school work. I dream the life of physical work. I'm a hunter, I don't do well forcing myself to sit down for long periods.

If I continue this path, all will surely be lost but there isn't much resistance left. All is easy said and done when it comes to tomorrow and next week, but when it comes time I rarely come about to conquered.

"Like a substance that works for everyone else, but has no effect on you."

When I was a teenager, I didn't want to succeed in life, in the sense of "climbing the ladders of socioeconomical advance". I wanted to escape the whole stuff, maybe to retire in a zen-buddhist monastry, or to become an isolated hermit. And still, I felt that both of those escape plans would require money to make them come true. So it is a trap. "FIrst sell your soul to earn money, only then you can use that money to regain your soul. Alas, the system is so built that it is hard to earn that much money, so it is likely to spend the rest of your life in the first phase, constantly trying to earn some money and dreaming about something else - but that *something else* never comes..."

Yeah, that kind of feeling of being trapped is depressing and paralyzing. I guess you are talking about that kind of feeling of inner paralyzis - it is easy to invent ideas to do, but when it comes the time to actually make those things, there is just an empty feeling and no inspiration to actually work for ones own ideas. Or, short moments of inspiration, and then about any little thing swings the mood back to freezing... When I was still living with my parents, in my room I pinned a card with a proverb in Russian - roughly translated it said: "Talk less, do more" - to remind me that life is not that much about plans and ideas, but more about the actual energy of carrying out those ideas.

Now, after all these years, I'm happy to be able to sip some brandy sitting in an oak at my yard. I'm still working with the same fundamental questions - trying to recover more and more of my inner inspiration and energy, trying to find a balance between my own ideas and the demands of the (post)modern society. And, one of the central inspirations for writing this blog is to keep up the spirit - don't give up, find what ever courage to walk through the dark times, as behind any corner a secret door might be hidden, opening up unpredictable new possibilities.

Life is an adventure, sometimes hard, sometimes easier.

Thank you for this. I really do mean it. Whether you see it or not, the way you live is similar how i would want to live -- when I can. Take adventures and live freely. Reading your blog is me dreaming of another world and one of the few things that can hold mt attention.

To add onto the topic, I am quite jealous of the blind oxen that can push through life without actually thinking. I wish I was like them, easy to motivate, inspire, make happy etc. They never have outlandish and depressing thoughts, they just do. I bet everyone struggles, no one talks about it though.


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