This weekend I went berry picking with friends, getting blueberries, crowberries, and bearberries (a very few). Brought the Bad White Dog along the first two days for bear-scaring company (more about the BWD in the next post), and Monkey the Old Man Dog (who's actually rather young) the next day. He wasn't so good at the bear-scaring: bear scat all over, big bear paw print right nearby. We moved elsewhere to avoid any, um, distressing situations. It was really wonderful, however, to pick and hear the wind blow, voices from far away, birds croaking. No such thing as silence, really--but it was very soothing. Sunny sometimes, overcast others, but warm and pleasant.
Growing or gathering food is something that makes me happy. It satisfies something that just doesn't come any other way. Certainly not going to a supermarket, which is an almost painful experience. Too much crap. The pain is on an almost subliminal level, ignorable, mostly. Going to a fresh food stand, like picking up the share at Calypso's tent once a week, is much better, a social occasion out in the open, but still a bit hectic, still not as deeply pleasing as picking it myself.
I've been thinking about how to move into a greener mode. ('Spose I really should start bicycling.) Anarchy in the AK talks about the problem of greenwashing. This morning, listening to Democracy Now! there was a wonderful interview with Andrew Bacevich about his book The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, who nailed one of the basic problems with American living (and government policy) right on the head:
I think the great majority of us basically have allowed ourselves to become seduced by this culture of consumption, of not taking seriously the notion that someday the bills come due, that you can’t simply run up a line of credit that stretches from here to infinity. We don’t want to look ourselves in the mirror. We don’t want to recognize the need to make some changes in the way we live.It's not just our credit card bills, or our mortgages, or our national debt: it's the use-it-up-now mentality that makes frugality unfashionable and spendthrift behavior the norm. Buy, buy, buy all that crap, all those shiny useless toys. Use up our nonrenewable resources NOW, because they're there, because we can. Forget about saving, anything.
And me, what do I do? Well, I'm not bicycling, that's for sure--and that's stupid. Because the bills really are coming due, now. On a grand scale. And on the local scale, soon enough.