I’ve been wasting time; a lot of it, working on my garden in bits and pieces but leaving most of the weeds, mowing my lawn when the mood hits me (which isn’t very often) and thinking about possibilities and ideas. Somehow this constitutes a job for me. Middle of August, relaxing, worrying about not doing enough but not doing anything about it.
Inherent laziness. Yet, somehow, in the midst of all that nothingness comes song after song and the beginning of the next album, the framework. That’s where my head is right now, on the next project. It’s a slow moving beast and it forms in the clouds, drifts out of the mist into reality.
I’m not ambitious in the true sense of the word, but I do have dreams and hopes that I carve into reality somehow. It seems most of my friends are the same way, be it gardening, pottery, poetry, painting, bread-making. I have so many friends who are creating a personally crafted life for themselves out of passion, creativity and imagination – sculpting out a unique way of living.
I was reminded of just how amazing this can be while performing and hanging out at Fundy National Park’s first go at a two day music event, the Rising Tide Music Festival. I met so many people with interesting lifestyles that were handmade by each of them. These are not easy lives they lead, but they are satisfying for them on so many levels. A little bit of knowledge and a lot of nerve can turn steel-door window cut outs into a full-on house. Maybe you’d like to design your own toilet and you happen to have a neighbour who is an adventurous potter! It’s apparently even possible to spend endless amounts of hard-earned money on tractors for your stubbornly unproductive blueberry farm and still love doing it.
It’s not easy working for yourself, and making life work for you. Followers of Helen and Scott Nearing, the heros and instigators of the back-to-the-land movement, know this well. It takes serious work to keep life simple, and it requires discipline as well as endless experimentation to figure out what really works for you. Quickly, I learned that bigger is not always better and the simple life can be very complicated to obtain. The one thing I have to remind myself of all the time is that life is long and I don’t have to accomplish all my goals right away. I plan to be here for a very long time – as a gardener, a home owner, a mother and a musician.
After playing at the park, my friends and I headed back to the home of Tim Isaac and Nina Khosla and spent hours and hours talking about everything under the sun. It was such a wide ranging conversation that it was hard to keep up. We talked of dreams, gardens, religions, new theories in philosophy and world power, children and the transition into teenage years, and our sense of freedom all thanks to somewhat voluntary poverty. I hadn’t had such an open and frank conversation in quite a long time and it revived my spirit and showed me that it’s not just my neighbourhood that’s full of fantastic dreamers, we are in pockets and hiding spots all around this tiny globe of ours.
The quote of the evening was this – “We’re the richest people in the world, just don’t tell anybody.”
(Originally published in the September edition of PEI’s entertainment monthly, The Buzz.)