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I meet a lot of “good” people in my work and play. Many times I am asked about the meaning of “self-sufficiency” and why it might be important. Does it really make such a difference if I bake my own bread, brew my own beer, grow my own vegetables and butcher my own meat? After all we can easily buy all these things (very cheaply) from one or other of the great corporations that service modern consumerism!

The importance of this question was brought home to me recently by a letter circulated by Charles Eisenstein. Here it is...


I'll share a little story from the homestead last night.

Ann showed up carrying a beautiful young fawn in her arms, its legs hanging long and limp. Ann had blood on her arms and tears in her eyes. The fawn had been badly injured by a dog and she and Will were called by the dog owner to take care of things. They slit the fawn's throat and brought her death to her.

Ann came to process the fawn under the maple tree. When I asked if she needed help, she said no, but she would love support. She asked that I get her turtle shell full of tobacco and dried daffodils (Ann’s totem plant) and light a small fire.

She removed the beautiful spotted hide, and pulled out the host of warm, soft organs. The fawn's stomach was full of what felt like solids, which was confusing to Ann, as the fawn was still just nursing. When she emptied it, the stomach was FULL of cheese- the doe's milk and rennet had made a feta cheese of sorts that smelled sweet.

After all the processing was complete, Will and his kids showed up and we sat around the fire. Ann held the fawn's tiny heart in her hand, and we each cut a tiny sliver off to cook over the coals. It was heart-breakingly tender and sweet, and my body is grateful to have taken this young one inside, to become a part of me.

This morning Dan showed up unexpectedly and laid another fire. We sat and cried together about this fawn and all the fawns I have been seeing dead on the roadside; we cried about the beauty of her death's honoring and the magical EMBODIED life we are living. That this kind of death/life/death magic is not unusual here, but just a part of the flow.

Eisenstein's comments...There are many who argue that humanity is better off through its ascent into the controlled, distanced, artificial, digital world, the metrics of well-being, leisure, and longevity, the economic logic of goods and services, the whole arc of progress… these present an unassailable tower of concrete and steel. But put them alongside the story of the fawn and, without challenging them on their own terms, they are revealed as a castle of shadows and vapors.

I think this story should help us understand why so much of modern life is, in the end, a muddled fiction. The cultural institutions and technologies we have created (so cleverly) to protect us against the vagaries of the natural world have, in the end, separated us from it. The “rose tinted” worlds of Walt Disney (and even David Attenborough) prevent us from feeling and understanding the true dynamics of the wonderful wild symphony of nature around us. For many, the sometimes brutal wildness of the real world has become a threat – we invariably look to find a technical fix (a medical treatment, genetic mutation, physical protection).

Our attempts at “self-sufficiency”, however big or small, are one way we can break out of the “make-believe” world and bring ourselves back into a confident understanding of what wildness means and what wildness can do. We ourselves are 'wild' and we have thousands of years experience to help us manage our role as top global predator wisely. While we remain silently scared of wildness (disease, famine, climate…) we will always over-react – so often making the problems worse not better.

Covid Update

We are now in the land of covid “make believe”! The news media seems to haver got tired of any kind of sensible reporting because, bizarrely, the UK now has 10 times as many new daily covid cases compared to the dramatic months of early 2020. Indeed there are now more than 500,000 people with covid symptoms in the UK! All the real time evidence suggests that those who have been jabbed are significantly MORE likely to catch covid than the unjabbed.

The NHS, on the other hand, is still telling the “vulnerable” that boosters “should” help reduce your risk of catching covid. This is dangerous wishful thinking at best or a bare-faced lie at worst – the “powers that be” know full well from ONS figures that this statement is completely false! It is indeed a very strange world we live in.

This video is an amusing take on the whole official Covid saga.

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