Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

And Now, Something Rather Different

Despite what some may think, I'm an optimist.  Really!  I'm serious.  Reading my posts and the various appropriated works here at the Gable Grey, one might think me a 'gloom and doomer,' a Bard the Bowman, always predicting floods or plauges of locusts or harsh winters, or ravaging Dragons.  But down deep I have great hope for the future... though not the kind most of my countrymen would find comfortable.

These days one of my great tasks is to cut away the trappings of industrial civilization that have affixed themselves, leech-like, to me over the past four decades.  It is difficult.  The modern world grasps me in myriad, multitudinous ways, ways I never really understood, and to an extent still don't.  It is a daily struggle to reject the I-Phone, the Blu-Ray, the Prius, and endless other gadgets that adorn my fellow human beings/Borgs. 

I find it necessary when at home to turn off the fucking computer.  Just turn the goddamn thing off.  Otherwise I am checking the stock market, tracking the latest tropical weather system, checking email, checking my regular Collapse/Peak Oil/Chicken Little sites, or looking up and bidding on civilisation's detritus on Ebay.  So I have to force myself to just turn off the computer, and recall what it was like to measure time in the real world, versus the hologram.

Today, while my daughter (thankfully) napped, I turned off the computer, got my current William Morris project (The Wood Beyond the World, second reading), and went down into the sunroom to sit by the chicks.  (We have four Dominique pullets, doing splendidly.)  I sat there reading, or listening to their chirping, or peering out at our little wooded Angle.  It was a timeless few minutes, and I knew that others had done the same thing before me, for generations:  sitting with the farm animals, letting them get used to one's presence, listening to their sounds and getting to know them, too.  Such simple things give me tremendous satisfaction.

We have but to cast off the armor of civilization, and let ourselves confront and even embrace the seemingly dark and dangerous outside our comfort zones, to see how in our zeal to control our world, we ourselves become the controlled.  I will take the dark and dangerous, any day.  (Admittedly, one does not have to look very far in the current Age.) 


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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"