I wrote a letter to a friend of mine today – here is an excerpt as my blog entry for the day….. i think it sums up where i am at nicely.
I am not plagued with the doubt about this move other people in my life seem to be. I know why they are arguing the point though – and it’s quite simply because I am moving away. Not only does my moving create physical separation, but in the world of urban activism, it also indicates an ideological separation.
And no doubt, this ideological halving is not just perception. I really have started to split off over the past year as my politics have progressed to a different place. I won’t say it is a more evolved place, or one with more answers – but is different from where the people I have been working with over the past several years are at.
I discussed this route with a friend recently – how i started out in my early teens in the mainstream environmental movement, trying to save trees and stop nukes, and realized by my late teens single-issue politics wouldn’t cut it, the problem was the system itself – from there I identified the problem as capitalism and became an anarchist, then a socialist, then an anarchist again and continued to fight and move forward until my politics were amplified once more to recognize that at the core, it is our whole civilization that is the problem and reform under industrial society is completely impossible even in utilizing revolutionary methods of reorganization.
From this point, there are many paths one can take – there is the path of bringing the civilization down, the path of mitigating the collapse for those who can not help themselves, the path of living simply and lovingly, the path of personal and social nihilism. and the list continues. Because there is not a single outcome that can be predicted about the collapse of civilization, choosing the path is a complex and highly personal task.
At some point I chose a route I have dedicated myself to at some personal risk, and with large psychological impacts because it seemed there was only one direction to go in – but now am coming to a different place with that knowledge and have decided to step off momentarily and try another road until I can get healed – because what I have seen is until I am well, my motivations for any path I choose are suspect.
All these years of political thought have grown up in me, through my experience and continue to challenge me every day as I struggle to find the right way to both participate in and appreciate this world we are spinning on – and as I struggle to find the equilibrium in myself to continue standing upright day after day – no matter what the past reveals or the future threatens. How can we face the knowledge we are killing ourselves and the planet without simply giving up? I think the answer to that is in small things and small moments even as we march under a much larger banner – and I think that is what I am now seeking to find – those moments I have ignored in the quest for cataclysmic change.
So moving out of the city, and this work with my naturopath, and my own drawing back from the hectic life of street activism – are all part of the same thing. I am propelling myself to the next stage in my life – and I have no clear idea of what that will look like. But I am excited about it, even as I am a little bit nervous. Giving up learned routines is as difficult as giving up bad habits – but just as I don’t want to die from cancer, I also don’t want to trap myself in the expectations of others only to discover in ten years that I walked in someone else’s footsteps instead of my own.
Because really, where the hell is the living in that?
this post is for those of you who don’t see me very often……
i decided last week that i for sure am going to move to the sunshine coast once i officially get evicted. that won’t likely happen before the end of the month so it looks as though i will be house-hunting for september or october first.
a lot of people have told me i won’t be able to stand the commute – and possibly that is true – but i really won’t know until i try living up there. in exchange for an extra-long commute i will get rents at half the price, clean air, no more random street noise, a short walk to the beach (everything there is close to the beach), and a community of just 25,000 people to share big space with. really, i have just decided to try prioritizing less pollution, cheaper rent, an option to possibly purchase a home one day, and a little land – for the time it will take me to get back and forth from the city.
the good thing about the commute is the fact it is entirely by public transit – ferry and bus – which means i don’t have to sit in my car, and can actually use the commuting time to work, read, do art… whatever. possibly i will be able to work from home one day a week as well (still have to float that by my boss).
things are changing for me now and i’m not sure what exactly the finished product will look like, how a move like this will impact my day to day life, interests, circle of friends, creative and activist projects – all that is up in the air. the move, plus my own personal transformative work have coincided to accelerate some aspects of my path towards a new life. i am a little frightened by this process, but also excited by it – who know what kind of a new me i will be?
i know one thing for sure though – when i move up to the coast – i am *definitely* learning to kayak in the sea. so at the very least, i will end up with a new recreative pleasure 🙂
i feel much better about the decision now i have made it. for about a month i was going back and forth about what i wanted to do, and finally realized i had to stop torturing myself with what i wanted, didn’t want, couldn’t have etc. when i realized how expensive it would be to rent what kind of a place i want in east van (house, yard, fruit tree….), the only thing that made sense was to accept the longer commute in exchange for more breathing room, more quiet, and more separation from urban life.
of course, after coming to this conclusion, i now want to get on with the process but have to wait until my apartment sells and i am evicted so as to cash in on the $1100 the landlord has to give me for making me move. this will cover my entire moving cost with movers. not only that, but once they give me 2 months notice, i can give them 10-day “short” notice anytime in that period and they still have to pay out the cash – which will give me flexibility in move dates and so forth.
in the meantime, i have to start sorting through my stuff – i have lived in this apartment for almost three years and have accumulated like a squirrel in the meantime.
so yeah, i’m excited about moving, but also mildly stressed about finding a place and packing. i just have to get started, and then i won’t seem so bad. the realtors haven’t even showed my place yet so i doubt it will go before the end of this month – though – you never know with this crazy real-estate market. i’m hoping to buy a house of my own on the coast if i like it after renting there for a few months. really – that depends on whether or not the commute is doable for me…..
the only thing enjoyable about this election is watching the high-level of heckling politicans are facing on this campaign trail. more candidates are being jeered at, more campaign signs are being knocked over, and overall there seems to be some level of engagement by people on one side or another of all public discussions.
no doubt, the closer an election gets the more heated supporters of either side get.
in any case, i was looking online this morning to see if i could find anywhere web-broadcasting tomorrow night’s leaders debate – and in the process stumbled across this very interesting site political canada: an interactive look on the cbc website. it’s full ofinteresting factoids about canadian political history such as the fact that canadian federal elections must take place on mondays (by law), last election was the lowest voter turn-out in canadian history (61.5%), and the motto for bc is “splendour without diminishment” (i have lived in this province all my life without knowing that)…..
if you are a politics geek, or even interested in obscure facts about canada’s provinces – it’s worth a check out. nice presentation, interesting information.
and they also have a political cartoons archive where i picked up this from the montreal gazette.. enjoy!
the search and replace process i have been running on our intranet directory has now taken four hours – which on anything other than a windows server would have taken less than an hour. why? why? oh yeah – monopoly is why.
the use of microsoft software is like the model of the us being continually shoved down our throats day after day – touted as secure, efficient, intelligent, socially and economically viable – but at the end of the day whether we buy the software or the country – we’re getting ripped off.
and that’s what i don’t understand about those people who would vote for stephen harper, a man who would steer canada in the direction of the us as quick as you could say “achtung!”. it’s our inferiority complex i suppose – the nagging sense all canadian children are raised with that somehow the us is infinitely more superior because they have more choices in their array of snack treats, television stations, and clothing brands. i certainly thought that as we drove down to bellingham twice a year to purchase new clothing and other consumer goods (before our dollar became so devalued it didn’t make economic sense to do that anymore), and watched the flashy us tv piped into our home once we got cable (so much more exciting than cbc!).
but i grew up to realize that like most commercially advertised products – the us was nothing more than bad off-the-shelf technology when it came to the things it promised. features exist for only those who can afford them, and security means giving up functionality.
it came home to me on sunday night when a friend (who works for the evil empire M$) and i were talking about incomes, and taxes and take-home pay. he makes $10,000 more than me a year, but our take home pay is exactly the same per cheque. this in a country with lower income taxes – how can that be? and of course it’s because less taxes = more user fees. he pays less taxes but because of a practially non-existent pension system he pays loads for his 401K, their social security system takes a much higher percentage of his pay per cheque (it’s not taxes though it’s still money going direct to the government), and his basic health-care contribution is far higher than mine for infinitely less service.
and this is the model that stephen harper would follow – less taxes, less services, more user-fees – more military, less rights, less social-welfare. oh yeah – and of course, less clean-air, less publically managed resources, more corporate control.
i thought we were better than this – i really did – that maybe we were smart enough to see the danger a man like harper represents to all of us…..
but like sheeple we are mesmerized by the shiny things presented by the corporation of the united states of america, and are destined to follow the path many americans now wish they could get off.
interesting fact: the word sasquatch comes from “s