Monday, October 15, 2007

transparency


In order to minimize my impact here on Earth, I’ve thought about what it would mean to lead a transparent life. What it would mean to untangle the complexity of this world, and truly understand and find meaning in the basic elements that contribute to my existence here.

It would mean taking nothing for granted. It would mean having a hand in the decisions I make. A literal hand. It would mean mixing my dough rather than pulling it from the package. It would mean raising the chicken if I’m to have eggs. Growing the wheat to make the flour. It would mean walking to work. 12 miles down Route 7. And 12 miles back. On shoes that I made from tree bark or, if I have the stomach, from the leather of a felled doe. That I felled myself. It would mean fetching water from the lake (a 15-minute walk there and 15 minutes back). And then to boil it to purify it. On fire that I built by rubbing some dry wood with a piece of stone… And that’s just to start.

To iron out the complexities of life would mean intangible things as well: being honest and true, pursuing knowledge while being sensitive to the needs of others, yearning for community, taking time to understand.

To reach transparency is a huge task. We can only get there one step at a time. I might not have room or time to raise my own chickens, but I can choose to buy eggs from my local farmer and I can make an effort to visit his farm and understand his practice. It is there in our search for understanding that we build community and sensitivity. We nourish one another. And we learn that our efforts have the power to build exponentially upon each other.

Penelope



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2 comments:

Hanushka said...

Bravo! What a lovely piece, I am truly inspired by your eloquence and thoughtfulness, you are living proof that a life of intention can be obscenely glamorous as well as good. xoxoxo

Emma said...

I really appreciate your desire to understand Agriculture. One of the
main problems with the public is that they are too detached to
understand the processes and work that brings their food to them. Then when people shout out conspiracy theories, the poor detached consumer doesn't have the knowledge or the understanding to make the right decision. Anyway, I liked your blog this morning. I should say, though, that I think if we all go back to leading a transparent life, we would return to "subsistence agriculture" (less developed) and probably 75% of the people in the US would not be able to survive.

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