With your host, Category5 and guest writers Mythos and Logos.
This post almost got called, I Got 99 Stupid Ways To Die In The Apocalypse. Or…Just Losing The Tip.( I am a firm believer that if a joke isn’t funny the the first time, tell it 100 times. If you get it, that means you are part of the in crowd).
So, I got injured. No, It didn’t involve Booze, a vacume cleaner and a lonely but curious night. Hey, We have all done it before….Oh! not like that, sickos. I mean Hammering a thumb. It was clear I was going to eventually lose the nail…again. But this time it swelled up solid and by the evening it was clear I would not be sleeping because of the pain. Off to the Emergency Room in the morning. I had broken Just The Tip of my thumb. At first, the doctor was going to drain the blood to relieve the swelling until he saw the x-ray. He said he couldn’t risk opening it in-case infection got into the bone. If that happens, he will have to cut off Just The Tip. Buduptup.
Instead, I get a next round of antibiotics (Cephalexin) and pain killers. I’ll actually use the antibiotics this round instead of storing them but Ill store most of the pain killers and refill the prescription. No using my hand for a month and a half. Good thing I got that firewood in. Good thing I still got my right hand for….Soooooo, How about that local sports group thingy.
Next Rule of Dont Freeze To Death Club- Have an extra year or more of firewood incase you get injured.
(Full disclosure. Our back up wood is lite at the moment since we have been digging into it. Only about a half winter. Must fix that. 3 years is better. C5s F5s- Food Storage. Food Production. Firewood. Fuel Storage and Friends)
After all the crazy ways I have almost died, I cannot have on my grave stone “Died of Hammering His Thumb” by infection.
Good time to revisit my article on antibiotic and drug storage times-
With that said, Mythos and Logos are back to give me a writing break.
Best lines from Mythos, ” the backdrop of this story is Nova Scotia. For those unfamiliar, it is the land of collapse… a sad story of out-migration, economic crisis and collapse, environmental catastrophe, and political corruption. All equals cheap property, possibly the cheapest coastal properties and rural properties on the East coast of North America. Truth is, economic collapse in the rural is not to be underestimated.” (Same reason we bought here)
Best Lines from Logos, “For the first while I judged progress by how far from the door I could get without getting snagged on brambles or climbing over windfall.”
Without further a due…
Step One, One Step By Mr Mythos an Mrs Logos
Ah, and once again a thank you to Mr. C5 for the opportunity. Mr. Mythos here. Now to elucidate the process of processes. The big one, the lightest heavyweight of all: Step one. One step. That’s right. One step at a time. Upon the journey of self discovery, I had discarded much unnecessary baggage. Both physical and mental. Discarding the encumbrance of bad philosophy, bad relationships, bad methods and realising the whole time that culture might not be my friend ( thank you Terence Mckenna).
From an early age I was developing a strong sense of self. And eventually, one on such a path, encounters the great equalizer: Entheogens.
…. Post Rebirth, I decided that the “great work”, was about to start. Deep connections, profound realizations. This is the alchemical fire of “illumination”. What is our purpose? Do I have one? What is it? With no purpose, there is no reason to continue. A serious thought. I had the most intense feeling that we are here to experience, to observe the dynamic polarity. Witnessing life.
With that sorted out, I decided that the best way to be true to my deepest purpose was to begin the task of being self-responsible. Wow, easy to say. Growing up I had a rural and simple life, not much whiz-bang. Simple being, open spaces, and no monetary concerns.
As an older person, monetary concerns and the lack of open spaces in more urban life in various places, put my life in perspective. The false comforts of living in our time of instant gratification. My advantage was I knew otherwise. Sure I can turn a tap, but do you really know what that kind of infrastructure running water is. Can you live without it? The first step. Being Alone. No infrastructures. And that was my start.
My decision to leave comfort, employment, social networks, and return to a rural life was a committed leap. I had some idea of the massive undertaking this was to become. Rebuilding society. Now to put it into context, the backdrop of this story is Nova Scotia. For those unfamiliar, it is the land of collapse. Not the time for a full history, but a sad story of out-migration, economic crisis and collapse, environmental catastrophe, and political corruption. All equals cheap property, possibly the cheapest coastal properties and rural properties on the East coast of North America. Truth is, economic collapse in the rural is not to be underestimated. Hidden costs for goods and services. No transit system, no employment, no community fabric, parasitic debt institutions awaiting your submissiveness. Very real obstacles. A reason land is affordable. Basically good luck, you will be broke before you start. Not an investment location. My knowledge of life in this setting made my endeavor very sobering. I knew that my limits must be realized in order to avoid idealistic self collapse. So I started with short yearly trips home to test out my new plan. Outside inputs got the ball rolling. My first few years were short stints of two to three months at a go. Then off to work in far off locations where there was still an economy. My beginning endeavors on my rural property were a place to pull off the dirt road and basic shelter. This took a lot longer than one would think. My very slim budget allowed me to purchase an old pickup truck for $650.00, and about the same for roof metal. $1,200.00 in
total investment yielded a way of moving materials, and constructing a tiny shelter with a metal roof for rain collection.
My years traveling educated me in many building methods. My focus was natural building. When I ran across Permaculture, it dovetailed nicely. My knowledge of ancient building methods was a huge advantage. Locally produced construction materials were key; salvaged materials were just as important. Keeping with the spirit of my project, as an Artisan, my philosophy began to come into the foreground. This was an Archetypal experience, making shelter, as a creative free thinking individual…(hmm, what is that red dot on my chest?….) anyway, my own bed, to make and lie down on. My responsibility!
This action is rooted in self discovery and above all, personal economy. The ground zero of the whole dynamo. Self generated, momentum. Steam from an inner fire, producing outer phenomenon. My dedication to natural building methods and style were my choice. Accepting this I knew that my efforts would have to be simple and direct. Small, inexpensive, a free form design process. Natural design: the holistic approach to artistic expression. My shelter, my struggle, my art. Being alone during this time really made it a very real experience. Still, an exercise in frugality. My austerity made it possible. Not to be overlooked. Simply put, if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. As Mr. C5 has pointed out, dressing in layers, Don’t heat the entire space and sit around in your boxers. As I often say: Time, money, plan. These things are the components of self economy. Personal philosophy is the steering mechanism, the spiritual as the anchor point. Self-motivation to capture “hidden yield”* saved time, made my plan sane. Sure, a mountain seen from afar is daunting, but is conquered one step at a time.
And, along came Mrs. Logos. Strangers on a bus. Love at first sight. A motherload of clichés and adages. But more importantly, no longer was Mr. Mythos to be on a solitary journey….as they say, two to tango. So here we are dancing about, writing out our saga. For my part (Mrs. Logos), Nova Scotia was the farthest from mind when starting to experiment with building my own little spot to find solace. The adventure started with a handful of earth passed to me in a valley in Southern Spain. Then it was earthbag and plastic filled bottles in Guatemala. It then continued with an impromptu camp set up in the redwoods of Northern California. And then some strawbale, some clay-straw, adobe…A pattern starts to form, dirt follows me everywhere, or just the opposite….I follow the dirt. After spending some time working on the projects of other people, or under circumstances which never allowed for much permanence, I had come to a point where I was strongly considering having a place to carve out an existence, to experiment with the art of living.
Mr. Mythos and I met through a series of strange coincidences and it lead to Nova Scotia being the place for such an endeavor. I remember the first time pulling down the dirt lane (which is now a very prominent driveway, I’ll have you know it took several loads of cobble and gravel, and a fair amount of ditching all done with a wheelbarrow and a spade uphill both ways, etc. ,etc.) For the first while I judged progress by how far from the door I could get without getting snagged on brambles or climbing over windfall. Over time the simple actions of daily life started tracing out lines of pathways through the woods for kindling and firewood; clearings were made by pulling back the brush and fallen trees, they were arranged to form edges and boundaries, spaces came to be defined by the very elements found there just rearranged to suit a new purpose. One step at a time was a very literal single step…let us step out the door this evening and not break our asses on that huge root. It has been an incremental process requiring a fair amount of patience. Often the quick solution is to throw money at something, but, that proves difficult when you have none. However that being said, it just as often turns out that money was merely a resolution and that “something” still hasn’t really been dealt with.
Everyone has their own notion of progress and success, and trying to define your own accomplishments by the metrics of someone else, doesn’t always turn out just right when your ruler is marked in inches. What started as simply a spot to get in from the cold, to have a hot beverage and to gather some thoughts, has now evolved into the most basic complex of all, HOME.
Thank You, Mythos and Logos. I looking forward to seeing you two this month.
Now, What to do for the next month and a half without an opposable thumb. Good thing I am right handed…
Something, Something about the Just The Tip jar above…….. I blame the bad jokes on the pain killers. Hum, What happens if I add beer?…..