day forty two

that's the universal answer, right? to the ultimate question? forty two. i've had a lot of questions in my head lately, a lot of answers, excuses, ideas, and paths laid out before me. this'll probably sound scattered, but since i live in all directions i think it's fitting.

sugar -

i am eating sugar again, though only in the form of 70 or higher % chocolates, ideally (but not always) in very small quantities. there was an evening recently during which i tasted my first reese's since giving up sugar, and it tasted Disgusting. like oil. i could barely taste anything beyond the oil. it was not at all satisfying, much as my subconscious, pleading, addicted self may have wanted it to be. i am ashamed to admit that despite tasting horrible, i still ate the last of my stash, a few pieces at a time, over about two weeks. i also ate a sub type sandwich a few days ago (out of lazy desperation because i hadn't thawed meat and didn't want to go all the way to the grocery store on foot or by bike to get something fresh to cook), my first grains in quite a while. i didn't notice any obvious impacts on my health, but i'm still otherwise sticking to the no sugar, no grains idea, and though i've had starches, i don't eat them often or in great quantity.

addiction -

i find that mostly my desire for sweets is a desire for succor, ritual, an expected and trusted response to stress. but it's really just the process, not even the specific food item anymore - much of the time over the last year or two i have gone through the ritual of preparing a treat only to find i am not very interested in eating it, which ruins the emotional satisfaction of the process. if i could apply the consistency of my addiction to a positive habit, i could accomplish much. i've got a handful of pages on bookmarked for reading later, about common junk foods, their effects on our bodies, ways to transition away from them, etc.

adornment -

i got tattoos recently, on my wrists. they're simple bands of chevrons that have ritual meaning for me, mostly focused on the flow of energy, and serving as a reminder to me that life is dynamic and always moving, and that it requires space for this movement as well as gentle direction, not restriction. the tattoos are a way to keep stagnant energy at bay, and a reminder of my place in the world as one small, single creature. i'm really happy that i had seamus do them for me, and really glad that i have a partner who Does tattoos at all, and especially does them by hand rather than with a gun. these wrist pieces are my second and third tattoos, and i am really pleased that none of them have been done with a machine.

i've also got some adornment plans for the near future - both branding and scarification. i'll share more about them once they actually happen and i can share some pictures with you.

technology -

i've done some more work toward reducing my internet presence, mostly just posting and gathering information, but i did successfully delete two myspace accounts. i re-cancelled netflix after enjoying a month of streaming movies, but don't want to indulge that habit or lose money to it, especially with spring around the corner anyway. i'm consider tumblr as a potential good resource for a space to share words, pictures, and video from one account without having to maintain ties to companies that creep me out. if you have any experiences with or opinions about tumblr, i'd be happy to hear them. my next big steps are to archive various e-mails and conversations and bits of information from the internet into simple computer files, and then eventually choose what to print for safekeeping. i also still want to choose a big handful of photos to print and store for the future, since regular computer access is not something i want for my future, but i Do want my photographic journey stored in some way that i can share with others.

creation -

i made my new journal for the year a few nights ago, and am really fond of it already. it has a new type of spiral binding that i hadn't tried before. i'm looking forward to finding out where i'm at in life by the time this journal is full... i definitely came a long way from the start of the last journal in september of 2010. i'm also glad that this is the third journal i've made by hand. my mind drifts forward to the day when i can look through a shelf full of hand made journals full of dreams, memory, stories, songs, plans, drawings, recipes, trials, and inspiration from years of homesteading.

preparation -

i put in an order with the missouri dept. of conservation for 250 trees. i spent less money on them than last year, which helps my budget a bit, but they were also out of smooth sumac, which i was excited about as a healthy beverage source. hopefully i can figure out a good way to propagate some of the local wild sumac instead. i'm also considering putting in a $300-some order with 'edible landscaping', a nursery in virginia that i know and trust. i'd get only fifty-some plants/trees/canes, but they're all more rare and cultivated things that would be very tasty and would go further toward providing great foods for me than a lot of the natives that i buy from the conservation dept.

scheming -

the weather here has been unseasonably warm, and has me thinking of the dozens of tasks i want to put work into on the land this year. digging post holes and getting more awnings up around the shed, harvesting reed's canary grass for thatching, plastering up the inside of the shed, digging out a winter hut and building a summer hut down by the creek, planting what will one day become living arches over paths and living shelters for gathering and ritual, planting berry canes and strawberries and fencing in more garden space as well as establishing new bed spaces around where my one-day house will be, finalizing a pond location and planning excavation (by hand), planning my Twenty Fifth birthday party, setting up shelter for my chickens and hopefully for dairy goats... you get the idea. lots to do. it's easy to have motivation when i'm stuck indoors and working a job. my deepest hope is that this motivation will carry over into the growing season, and that i will accomplish as many of my dreams as possible this year.

employment -

i've started another part time job, doing web site work for a local company that makes drum carders and wool pickers for folks who process their own fiber. it's exciting work and a good challenge, and should provide enough of a boost to my budget that i can afford the extra trees, and maybe to pay a bit on my student loans. i may also be hired to help a neighbor plant a thousand or so trees, which would give me a comfortable financial cushion that i could really use. it's scary going into my second year on the land and not knowing how well i will stick to my budget, how much i can transition toward sustaining myself on the land (at this point, mostly through growing veggies and having a few eggs, in the future, providing much more thoroughly for my needs), and whether my ultimate annual financial needs can be met in a way that doesn't make me hate my life or the wasting of my hours. since i have been a legal adult and living on my own, i have lived on at Most six-thousand dollars per year (and that, i think, is an overestimate). the past two years i have lived on maybe five thousand per year. this coming year i plan to live on under four thousand, and this year and last a decent chunk of that money was intended for paying off land. if i can provide more and more of my own sustenance year by year, maybe by the time the land is paid off (four years from now?) i will live on so little that it can easily be supplied within the local community. that's my dream and plan, anyway.

numen/power/the sacred -

i spend a lot of time thinking about who i am, how i came to be this way, how i want to be in the future, and how to get there. as a leo through and through, i have a strong sense of justice, of heroic displays, of wanting to lead an epic life. adornment and visuals are a big part of that for me - if i become accustomed to Looking epic, magical, powerful, my ideal of myself, it becomes a more commonplace thought in my existence that i Am those things, and better live up to them by living my best self. every year of thought, study, travel, journaling, food changes, gardening, and struggle has brought me closer to my ideal life and my ideal self. that life/self is one spent as much as possible in 'nature' or outdoors, in close, sacred connection with the land, supporting the land and being supported by it, working magic in my life and the lives of others in a healthy, positive way, and providing for myself as simply as possible so as not to support systems of hate, corruption, and needless death and destruction. it's simple, but not easy, and has turned out to be a long and rather winding path. i feel incredibly blessed to be looking forward to spending most of my year ON that land, feeling a response and even friendship from it, and finding myself still taking steps in the direction of health and an improving ability to walk firmly and courageously toward the dream of my future.

there are probably things i'm forgetting that i meant to include in this post. i'm off from work for the next two days, if i remember more i'll add it, and will also add a few pictures to break up all those long, introspective paragraphs. thanks for reading. i hope you'll comment about where you're at in your journey, if our paths are parallel or crossing. hearing from other seekers is often what keeps me going.