Tuesday, 25 November 2008
I'll do my best to keep this brief. And I want to make this my last post in a while because it has really dawned on me today how far removed from modernity I need to be. The rain last night was insane! I hardly slept. And tonight it continues. Today whilst it rained and I was trapped indoors unable to proceed with the mountain of wood-chip that is currently my task to spread across the garden, so I cleaned. I cleaned things that were cleaner than things I have ever taken it upon myself to clean before. This guy's house is so clean that it seems futile to spend time cleaning it! Give me outdoor showers and long-drop toilets again pleeeease!!
Basically, for me, modern life is so full of un-necessary distractions - this darn computer for one - that it spins me right out of myself and into pondering obscurity, and the seeking of comfort from things that are essentially over-indulgent and un-necessary. I am looking forward to island life on Waiheke, where I am headed shortly. I do not want these distractions, there is no time for them. Of course it's wonderful that I can communicate with people back home but it is so easy to get caught up for hours on a computer whilst forgetting what is around you in the moment.
Apologies in advance if I go off the radar for a while. I shall no doubt continue to get sucked into this computer so long as I stay at this house but that should only be a few more days. I need to be removed from distraction and temptation in order to centre myself and focus into my own experiences of the NOW, which is where I want to be. I guess most people don't have this kind of trouble?!
One more thing - I do not want to judge others, but merely observe, and decide on what I feel is right for me, however I cannot help but feel saddened at what seems an apparent lack of interaction / attention on the part of my current host with regards to his son. I want to discuss this with him but not sure how to approach the subject and be honest without causing offence. He obviously loves his son (who is 3) and is trying to raise him as best he can, providing a beautiful home and teaching him right and wrong. However I am not sure if what appears to me to be a lack of attention / communication / understanding is merely a highlight of still unresolved issues / bitterness harboured by myself with regards to my relationship with my own father. This is all getting rather deep. It just seems to me that to impress upon a child all the things they must not do, sets them up for a life of worrying about getting things wrong. But like I said perhaps this is just as it relates to me, in fact it almost certainly is, since the situations we find ourselves in do tend to mirror what is going on within ourselves. I feel the need to simply get out of the situation yet also to use it as an opportunity to overcome something within me which I clearly need to deal with.
Many lessons to be learned. Many many questions. And the rain continues to pour! But worry not dear friends of mine for I am enjoying and savouring every moment.
Monday, 24 November 2008
Not that I know how many people will read this thing. I have had almost zero emails from folks back home with their news and this rather puzzles me as it's one thing to have the odd 'we miss you' message (and thanks for the comments those of you that have done) but it would be lovely to have some proper letters from you guys!
Anyway back to my current situation. 2.39am. A very small glass of red wine. So much for back to nature eh?! Well hey didn't I say it was all about small steps?! To be honest when I arrived on Thursday at this modern house overlooking the beautiful Whangaroa (the 'Wh' is pronounced like an 'F') Harbour, I was a little freaked out that I was about to be overconsuming all over again. I kinda still am (freaked out I mean), however every experience is here to teach us something and I have already learned a lot in 3 days here due to a bit of an alcohol memory-blackout binge and resulting self-realisations...
Without going into it in too much detail I shall say I am very much in a new state of self awareness and (hopefully) control. I am very much looking forward to this Wednesday, when I shall be going on a small mission through a forest to find and camp by one of the oldest, largest trees in New Zealand - the ancient Kauri Te Tangi O Te Tui. Approx 50 metres tall and over 1000 years old. I am not sure how it will make me feel but I know I need to spend some time with it.
The book I have been reading, by the way, has been a VERY full-on must concentrate hard and have mind wide open experience. I am not sure I am ready to reflect on it yet. I suppose I should reveal something about it here - brace yourselves - it discusses the end of the Mayan Great Calendar in 2012 coinciding with a variety of galactic cycles of mega-scales of time, Earth being very much in line with these cyclic alignments including its entry into the Photon Band. All sounding like gobaldeegook to most of you? Aah well you know when you look up into the sky on a clear night at all those stars and wonder what's really going on? Well there are some serious ideas in this book about the multi-dimensional reality that really exists and how we humans on Earth are rather important indeed if only we could wake up a bit!
Or rather that reality is whatever we think it to be. That anything is possible if we can imagine it to be. That it is scientifically proven that thought can create reality and cure illness, only thoughts cannot be sold for profit so we are all being mislead and sold drugs and technology to keep us trapped in the belief that limitation actually exists.
Limitation is a creation of the mind.
(thanks to Paul Shanta for that quote which fits perfectly to what I have been reading about and here it is amidst some amazing artwork of his, look closely on the top left)...
Hmm perhaps I should halt it there, this was only to be a short blog and I may have scared some of you off! Discussion anybody? If you HAVE made it this far but feeling slightly baffled then I apologise, it's hard to articulate such fast-learning experiences into words. The main point is once again (as per my previous blog): positive thinking brings about positive reaction from the universe. Really!! Our thoughts are SO powerful!
I made it to Cape Reinga by the way. The northern-most point of the country, where the two oceans meet and you can actually see the dividing line, different sea colours and random waves in the middle of it all. Click for photo.....
.... for once they do it justice, you can actually see the line better on the photos than you could in reality! Yes it was a grey day but that did make it all the more amazing because of the way the cloud was forming right above the point where the oceans meet....
Yikes I gotta stop. Having spent a while editting this blog it's now 3.32am.
Plans for next few weeks are still to become definite but looking like New Year will be spent working at Rhythm&Vines Festival in Gisborne, one of the first cities in the world to see sunrise, and Public Enemy are playing!
And just a reminder of my plea... emails pleeeeeeeease to firstname.lastname@example.org ... if you reckon you miss me then spend half an hour typing me an email about yourself and it will feel like you have spent some time with me... I wanna hear news from YOU!
lots of love as ever....
crazy curious one x
Friday, 14 November 2008
So here we go...
I came here to WWOOF.
As the WWOOF website describes...Willing Workers on Organic Farms is a world wide network where volunteers ("WWOOFers") live and learn on organic properties. WWOOF volunteers offer their help on the farm and in return they learn about biological farming. Food and accommodation is provided. WWOOF began in New Zealand in 1974.
WWOOFers live with families and get hands-on experience with organic farming, permaculture, earth building, cooking, crafts, wine, cheese and bread making, alternative energy and much more... check wwoof.co.nz to read examples of the variety of host experiences.
Basically the point is that, as many people will know, when I was in England I spent a lot of time preaching about fair trade, free range and organic food etc, so now what I am doing is actually, well not just buying/talking it but DOING it. Learning what it involves to grow vegetables & fruit, look after chickens, pigs etc, live close to 'the source' (NATURE) ...
I tell you it's incredible how good it makes you feel to spend 2 days completely rejuvinating a patch of ground from being totally overgrown with last season's vegetables to being fully hauled over with sacks of horse shit mixed in (after being collected by hand) to make it richer soil for planting a load of baby kumara (a sort of sweet potato) plants into... fresh air, exercise and being outside are SUCH sort outs!!
SO the reality is that I am actually learning and experiencing, the kind of things that back home I merely dreamed of and moaned about. I am doing something about my desire to live more in synchronisation with nature and things just make so much more sense that way. I can't actually imagine how my conscience could let me return to the way of life I had back home and it's starting to dawn on me where many of my guilt issues were rooted.
Learning what herbs are good for what effects on your health and making teas out of them, knowing how to plant baby carrots and what minerals different plants need to grow, watching baby chickens get bigger by feeding them natural food and letting them run around freely, milking the goat that feeds on the grass and family's foodscraps, picking fresh salad leaves, cabbages, broccoli, strawberries...these are a small percentage of the things I have so far experienced whilst WWOOFing.
Oh and eating amazing organic meals and sharing some wonderful conversations in which I don't feel like the odd one out who's 'just being fussy'!!!
Plus, now that I have watched a happy 100% free-range chicken have its head chopped off, helped to pluck it and break bones whilst preparing it for cooking, then later on eating it whilst being fully aware that it was alive and running around that very morning, I am pretty positive that I will never again eat chicken unless I am certain of its origin. Also I have seen the size of naturally fed 6 week old chickens and it aint big. Those ones you buy in the supermarkets are that age and let me tell you those poor things must have been so pumped full of hormones, and simply bred to eat with no respect whatsoever for the beauty of life that it's frightening.....how people can continue to eat these things without feeling sick at the horror of thinking how they've been treated is beyond me.
The time between staying with the WWOOF hosts I am travelling as cheaply as possible, camping in my tent and finding ways to eat and have amazing experiences without spending money.
Oh yeh so that's the other thing - MONEY.
Yes, money is something I am also trying to avoid here in New Zealand. I didn't manage to save a massive amount before I came away but the way I am living is such that I am hardly spending any whilst still living a really rich life full of beautiful experiences. The first week I was here & staying in Auckland I had some big outlays - buying a bus pass, sorting out a NZ SIMcard (for occasional mobile phone use) and of course some booze-fueled fun nights. But now I am in full resourcefulness mode ie. do I reeeally neeed this item here that I am tempted to buy? - No of course not, it is just being SOLD to me by someone who wants me to spend money and convince me that I desire their product (a product which was probably produced by someone who was underpaid whilst using up energy and producing pollution). It is amazing the things that come to you for free or what you can make out of someone else's waste when you are in thrift mode...someone else's leftovers became a gourmet breakfast of toast and tea, for example. Or a load of old washing machines get turned into a water wheel for generating electricity (as is the case for Allen, the WWOOF host I am currently staying with).
The two WWOOF hosts I have so far stayed with are both working towards living completely self-sufficiently. Getting power from the sun or streams, water from the sky and food they grow themselves. Using waste food to feed animals which in turn provide more food, using waste (excrement) to feed the ground from which more food grows. All of which follows the natural path of things working in cycles, the way nature intended. I think it's a beautiful notion and one that more people really should consider, if not as a way of life then at least just THINK about these things. Why should people depend on material things and modern society, owe thousands in debt to whichever bank or credit card or mortgage company , spend their days sitting in front of a computer and their evenings in front of a TV, draining resources from our beautiful planet whilst they become more and more distant from the very thing which sustains us all?
And hey it's not the easiest thing in the world to cast off years of learned materialism and dependency on comforts such as flushing toilets and hot water whenever you want it. You have to give things up that you think you need and it's taking dedication and some serious re-training of the mind for me to do. You have to think more, and take it step by step. But all you have to do is be more aware, pay more attention and realise how healthy and good it is for you to have a happier conscience. That is, of course, if you choose to ACTUALLY think about these things, which I have come to find is unavoidable hence the action I am taking (I say 'you' where obviously what I refer to is MY experience, not sure why it feels more natural to describe in this way). And yes it is not necessarily as 'comfortable' to sleep in a barn and have limited electricity, but for the three weeks that I did so I had no tobacco or alcohol and I swear I only missed them on two occasions.
Said barn was located on a piece of land owned by Anna and Dino, a couple who, when they first bought the land 5 years ago covered in trees and scrub, lived in a tent for a year and a half whilst they implemented their ideas and now have 3 beautiful children, a house they built themselves, various veg, fruit and herbs growing, a load of chickens, goats, bees, and much more in the pipeline. All it's taken has been dedication and positive action. Anyone can do it. Yes, anyone...
If you can imagine it, then anything is possible.
Sitting in front of this computer tonight as I am, I feel that in reality my blog, what I want to explain about what I am trying to achieve, should be something I dedicate more time to and even approach as if I am writing an essay, because I so desperately wish to explain how important these things are to me and my travels and hopefully make people think about these things. Not that I know how many people will actually have the patience to read through these mini essays!!! (please do me a favour and comment if you have done?)
So the point if that it's not just about having fun travelling! It's a very serious project and experience...
Though that's not to say I haven't had heaps of fun and some beautiful experiences. I think I have fallen in love with a dog by the way. I now understand why people have dogs. There is a dog called Rusty who seems to understand me so perfectly. For the first 4 days I was here (the place I am currently staying at) he barked and growled at me from within his fenced area. I looked at him and said to him 'You WILL be friends with me somehow'. And believe me a lot of people would be scared of this dog. That's why the poor thing is chained up. Most people don't understand him. Their fears breed mis-interpreted aggression which is, of course, merely a desire for love and attention from a dog who's not aware of his own strength. So he's chained up because certain humans don't understand him. I know very little about dogs, but I think I can RELATE and that's the main thing. I got Allen to introduce me to Rusty, I approached him with pure love and within minutes he was beginning to understand me, and me him. I proceeded to spend a few hours with this dog, speaking to him about my thoughts as I dug over some soil, cuddling him and lying down with him, and he made me cry about 3 times through sheer force of love and beauty and the incredible way in which he responded to things I said to him - some really powerful emotional connection going on. Impossible to express why/how. But yeh, I'm in love with him.
This is also a journey of the SPIRIT. You know all those questions and pontificating conversations I so love to engage in, the meaning of life, philosophy, psychology, what it's all about? Well so far in my travels here there have been many amazing conversations and so much information has come to me to add to my quest for answers. Discussions about where our planet's at in terms of a collective consciousness, an imminent shift in the overall level of humanity's connection to understanding more than just what we immediately perceive as being reality. But more on that when I have learnt enough to attempt to sum some of it up. For the time being let me just say that I am very excited and feeling very lucky to exist in this stage of the evolution of existence. Some people will understand more than others what I mean by this and to those of you that do, well guys let me tell you it is quite magical how many circumstances have so far presented themselves to me in which I have learnt things I have been wanting to learn. Positive universal change is not too far away my friends and WE are the lucky ones. The faster we all start realising it the better!
POSITIVE is in fact the thought I shall make the last one of my blog for today. Approach everything with a positive outlook and the universe will respond in positive ways. Fear breeds fear. Love breeds love. Simple. Rusty the dog is the perfect example.
So what, if people think I am just a crazy hippy?! I'll leave you with a quote from Bill Hicks...
"Today a young man on acid realised that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, and we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There's no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves".
(more Bill Hicks: http://sazmatazz.users.btopenworld.com)
I love you all
PS. pleeeeease email me with news of what's going on with you!!!!