The unfortunate casualty of my recent “in haste due to rough conditions” blogs has been my responses to readers’ comments. I am sorry about this. As I’ve mentioned before, Aimee diligently sends me a digest of comments every day via email, as I am not able to browse the internet from mid-ocean. And I look forward to seeing your comments. It makes my blog feel more like a conversation, and less like a monologue into the void.
In fact, I tend to think of my blog as a cocktail party. I am the hostess, so you all have to be nice to me 🙂 And you are all my welcome guests.
Some of you have known each other for a long time (Doug, Jay, Joan, Rico, Laurey, Bill, the Johns) and some are relative newcomers. I am sure – or at least, I hope – that the old-timers make the new arrivals feel welcome, as it’s no fun arriving at a party where you don’t know anybody and not being able to get a word in edgeways.
Like at any lively party, people connect, and I get a real kick when I hear that emails have been exchanged, or people have met up in real life. When Laurey writes in to update us on her cancer treatment, or Joan shares her stories about the chickens (and hopefully in the future, the progress of her smallholding) it gives me a warm glow and a sense of community.
Another sign of a good party is the conversation takes on a life of its own. I gather there was some lively debate about whether it was okay for comments to go off-topic. Personally, I don’t have a problem with this – within the constraints of good manners, of course. I am rather starved for conversation out here, so it’s great to see a good, juicy, thought-provoking comment from time to time.
Hence, Rico, I thank you for sharing your top two fears: “global economic collapse” and “the coming police state”. While I personally feel that environmental issues trump all others (after all, if we humans are the authors of our own extinction, everything else is moot) I agree that there are other hugely important issues that we ignore at our peril. I tend to steer clear of them on my blog as being too political, but one day you and I must get together for that well-caffeinated coffee shop conversation.
Daniel, thank you for mentioning the word “conservationist”. This is a good word, and much less loaded than “environmentalist” has unfortunately become. It strikes me as ironic that, in the US at least, “environmental” has come to be identified with the political left, and thought of as progressive or liberal. First, I find it bizarre that the state of our planet has come to be a politically polarized issue, and second, the real point of “environmentalism” is to keep the ecosystem exactly as it is, or even better, as it used to be – and if that isn’t “conservative”, I don’t know what is. So “conservationist” sums this up well.
Marks_the_spot: I appreciated these words of yours: “I don’t believe there is any scientific way to quantify human ideals like right and wrong, fair and unfair, good and bad. Happiness is the measure I use for my interactions with the world and others. Long term happiness requires long term thinking. I am shaping the future of my children and I desperately want them to be as happy as possible…whew!” Happiness – especially the right kind of mindful, joyful happiness – is indeed a good measure. Thanks also for thanking Vic for his good work – he amply deserves all good praise!
Bruce: thanks for this thought: “I’ve been thinking that the difference in happiness and unhappiness boils down to one’s movement through life. There are two ways to conduct life: linear and circular. Linear is growth-oriented. Circular is acquirement-oriented. Linear allows for forward movement. Circular leads you back where you started on an endless mill.” I used to live on that endless mill, and I couldn’t agree more. An excellent image. We want our manufacturing processes to be circular, not linear, but our lives to be linear, not circular.
Mary, thanks for the Jack Layton quote: ‘Always have a dream that is longer than a lifetime.’
Joan – you would name a goat after me? Honoured, I’m sure! (Well, actually, I’m not quite sure…. a goat tried to eat my dress when I was about 4 years old, and I’ve been a little dubious about them ever since! 🙂
That’s all I have time for now, folks, but I wanted you to know that I do enjoy your comments and cherish your contributions. Thank you, thank you, thank you… from the middle of the big blue.
Still toughing it and roughing it out here. Conditions due to get calmer over the next few days. A HUGE dorado has moved in downstairs. He must be nearly 4 feet long. Have yet to see him belly-flop, but it would be quite a splash.
Quote of the day: “Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.” (David Byrne)
Photo: a good party – Roz at the San Francisco Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race Dinner
Sponsored Miles: Stanley Miller, Leslie Layton and Thomas Weber – thank you. Roz rowed about 25 miles yesterday.