Solheimar, Iceland

Solheimar, Iceland
Solheimar Ecovillage in Iceland

Earthaven Ecovillage

Earthaven Ecovillage
Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC

Yogaville, Satchidananda Ashram

Yogaville, Satchidananda Ashram
Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia

Monday, November 15, 2010

Poems in Iceland

My facet of expression here has seemed to be a form of spoken word poetry. For our mid term assessment, I chose to read a long poem describing my feelings and experiences from the summer before Iceland and my first month and a half here. Now, for my final project I have again taken it in the direction of poetry. I would like to share these writings with you in an attempt to synthesize what I have absorbed for three months living in an intentional community. The videos are too large to upload here, but I have posted them on YouTube and I ask you to watch them there. I will share the words with you here, but these are more spoken word than poetry so I encourage you to listen to the delivery.


"My Personal Vision of Sustainability"

What does sustainability mean to me?
Living exactly oppositely of how I used to be for the first eighteen years in this body.
It means to strip away the veil we see, that society tends to feed.
It means the ability to sustain not only me, but thee, and we, and trees, please don’t refuse responsibility for those we cannot see.
Sustainability is not invisibility; it is accountability, nothing behind the scenes, honesty, truly opening.
See, the problem with my personal vision of sustainability is its very personality, its internality.
Sustainability does not work individually. It’s got to be spread widely, not hiding inside me as a cut & clean clarity, child of the intellect mind game, but a blatant, visible, evolving, raw, exposed, breathing being outside of me, beside me, that I carry for all to see how I turn arbitrary into epiphany, “holy shit, it works.”
Holy shit, it’s so simple, but so foreign, totally out of the ordinary to parents and old folks and nuclear baby boomers who have left their mark and we frail fallout fragments must clean up in their wake. We now know how not to go down the dirty path forged by the last ringmasters, the bastards that raped this poor planet; private property produces poverty!
Growth has grown on us as a group, but it’s a loop we can’t pull ourselves out of.
Shall we shrink instead? Shrink our stuff? Shrink our scope of awareness to hone our awareness onto smaller chunks so solutions surface so we don’t drown in our global problem pool?
Super fast mass media fills the pool faster than we can drain it; remember, the people you trust to give you “news” are just working nine to five for cotton cash just like you.
Sustainability equals only looking around you.
Your immediate environment is the environment too, not just the rainforests and wetlands and glaciers.
By all means if you live near one of those, aim to save, but if you don’t then don’t.
If everyone in the world focused solely on saving his or her immediate environment, that problem pool would be empty!

Epiphany: true balance does not exist, only a striving for true balance. Chaos and imbalance is ever-present in this world, this solar system.
Epiphany: learn to live with contradictions in your world.
Epiphany: concentrate on questions, not answers.
Epiphany: moderate, don’t eliminate; money, minutes, medicine, machines, most everything actually…
Epiphany: efficiency eradicates bio-mimicry; efficiency is nowhere to be seen in nature, but rather fractals and spirally and vortexes.
Epiphany: connecting with nature includes reconnecting with the cosmos, don’t fret, it could come naturally. Heart, Mind and Body. Lose thyself in cosmic thoughts, feel thyself through cosmic forces, create thyself through beings of will.
Epiphany: eco-rebirth just might work to rework your wiring, I invite you to be reborn into a world of sustainability.

Everyone seems to struggle with sustainability, so lets throw away that word, one word cannot encapsulate the complexities contained in a “sustainable” existence… but let’s stick with it till this poem ends simply for the sake of its overwhelmingly prevalent rhyming properties.
Steps to sustainability? Seems silly to easily package a twelve-step program to save the world.
The world is too big to expect one word to fix its ailments! Hone hone hone it down, take a step down homo sapiens sapiens, can’t you see most of the steps toward sustainability and conservatory actually spiral us further down to where we don’t want to be?
Spiral up is only feasible by letting go of the paradigm we grip so so tightly to for no no reason other than pleasing the senses and once that one’s pleased the next one needs more attention, did I mention that it never ends?
Endless dwell in material hell means constant thirst for the black blood of Earth, our worst surfaces when value is lost, when meaning is lost, when energy is lost, when love is lost, when fear and doubt and drought and children without hope take the reigns and insane becomes not only acceptable but desirable.

I know that change is unavoidable.
I know that brains are pliable.
I know that spiritual amalgamation is inevitable.
I know that sense-free perception is possible.
I know that bodies and minds are deceitful.
I know you and I are indivisible.
I know that love is always successful.
I know that no animal is truly sustainable.

Writing about sustainability is somewhat hypocrisy because it can’t be summed up intellectually, enforced bureaucratically, understood theoretically, explained systematically, investigated linearly or discussed hypothetically.
It only works practically, daily, hourly, minutely, secondly.
Nay nay nay! Cast away this foolish play you’re wasting time every day by waiting for someone else to say, “Okay, the old paradigm was yesterday and the new paradigm is today.”
Sustainability is not an answer, it is a question posed to every earthling constantly, presently; will you destroy or maintain, respect the flow or drain the very vein that feeds you, for surely you know when you kill the earth you kill yourself.
Sustainability comes more easily when I accept the divinity that surrounds me, I walk more lightly, see more vividly, speak more quietly, conserve more frequently, consume less energy.
Sustainability is viewing our earth more heavenly, viewing our life as eternity, re-entering the dance of community.
You get the point, I can already see the shift in your eyes compassionately understanding that love is understanding and that I need you and you need me to make this dreamy vision of sustainability manifest in reality.


"Prana"

Flying fast away from familiar faces and the ultimate comfort
Rows of gray, leaving dirty trails in the sky, hug the coast make the most out of this once in a lifetime experience
Unprepared lost and scared
Have faith in the unknown
Unsecured baggage last minute scourge
Forgetful morning, strange male energy
Hazy air still allows my vision to pass through its layers to see our concrete veins below pulsing with more machinery
The people, all the people below, who will control?
Why have we taken control of something that already worked?
I will miss the forests here, the thick untouched splendor of tree cities. The secrets and answers are already in front of us, we are just too afraid to go into the woods to find them.
I will miss the people here, the small army of peaceful warriors I have strung together.
I will miss the food here, the growing emphasis on local and organic items, the 7.69 a pound plates at Tidal Creek co-op after hot yoga classes.
I will not miss the cell phones, automobiles, televisions, alcohol, gasoline, coal, guns, trains, planes, fast food and drama.
I’m in for a shock, inversion indeed, with an open mind much can be achieved.
Liminality.
Tracing the roots of live oak trees.
Mechanical minds cannot compute nature.
Industrial brains have a different definition of progress.
Where are we going?
I already see the irony in polluting our skies to fly to an ecologically minded community.
Travel partners are necessary – while traveling and while motionless.

Not hard to stay on track, some of us lose sight of the right wrong morning song take turns writing lines on folded sheets of trees or bees in boxes for pollination in a nation of ice cubes and flicker flames big wicks homemade candle flicks.
Have you considered the end?
You have to be 2 dimensional for all of your body to be touching the ground, you just can’t. You just have to be the ground, try to make the same sound again and you will be surprised about what comes out, the cameras follow you and watch you wait in line.
Line up the stones perfectly so they stand atop one another.
Rock garden stop gardening outside, try it in between panes of glass opposing the sun and touching one another.
Let the tunes flow, kundalini know the whole path up the spine.

Four days raw, not a flaw, doesn’t matter if you miss a stitch you can always knit backwards, right girl?
Sun your eyes, make em dry wash em wet don’t regret or forget this exercise, walking wise through the thin forest of a dry land. Tap it in let’s begin and try to make sense of things with your eyes closed, let it flow forget the dough, chant it over under the fur, tire scent mixed with incense nonsense cleanse the past tense hope for the best, just try the test!
Olafur Oh laugh at my fur! You’re the first settler! Scaley scales of the neck grasp the woody bamboo stick there’s two now, behind, around, under, pop it off!
Permafrost now we’re lost, toss aside your concern the only worry is worry itself.
Seven ducks on a wall, notes left behind hidden for all to find in search of the cardboard church display even when you press play the sound don’t come out of this damn piece of plastic, give it a second give it some love, treat it like your own creation. Everyone around you is you.

Crossroads hot loads of H two Oh that’s how you pronounce that
Build a house get some help make the shelter dig dig dig down into the ground
Rediscovered roots manifest in creation
Greenhouse on your house bring in the life
breathe it in work it out
Put in your hours, you are the only one

I know we’ve all met before, like cells that have died and come back alive on the same body, surprised to see each other again in a different time.
Don’t eat that mushroom its gills will fill your stomach like poisonous pills, maybe kill or at least berserk will it work? Edible landscapes leave room for mistakes no need to hit the brakes cause you’re already going slow slow slow your roll mister and misses volunteer simpleton transition town
Having trouble squeezing this into sentences,
Everybody asking me the same questions,
Giggle hard giggle we squiggle free from community
just to see what happens on the outside, hitchhike along
highway one the thumb’s got a different meaning here, different for everyone the numbness of oneness melts in the sun if you confront that ugly lonliness, son
struggle food attitude sudden shift of mood from innocent innocuous to biased uneasiness
Confidence roots deep and tries to break through to the daylight, is your skin concrete or soil?
Digging dirt staircases is the best way to find out if they’ll work
Liesaboutlentils.com doesn’t exist, if anyone wants to help me trick other CELL students into it sign this list
No matter how far you fly you can’t escape this midterm stress press against the glass to test the chill & determine dress to make the best impression on the rest surrounding your guesthouse nest, magic booties won’t impress the sheep infested hills or attendees of wool-obsessed knit fests.

Flower of life represents everything I have to say here, it’s finest strength is its lack of words to communicate, this is the language of love, the intertwined circles relate to every branch, require each other make up each other take up each others space, overlap intersect come together to create magnificence since, what else is there to make? Why take up time doing anything else but nurturing the self, plenty of chances before your shelf life expires whyareyas waiting whyarentyas exercising power cast away laziness like the exorcist take a trip outside your skull to higher vibrational kingdoms, this world’s not dull you’re already in heaven meditate your monkey mind sitting still doesn’t trap you it is your soul’s vacation time, don’t make it work overtime now you’re prime, we’re ripe in this galactic season heathens knew this, jesus knew this, please just don’t miss the point of life: to use your body while you’re in it, you’ll have plenty of time to be lazy once you leave it so treat it like a vessel with a wide opening, open to all the prana pouring in.

They do things differently over here kids,
Mellow your criticisms until you live here for a while
You’ll be surprised to find that sustainability will make a fool of the one-meaning school of thought, widen your mind and forget what you’ve been taught, you are the teacher that must balance what comes from within versus comes from without

Under armor underwear flown by air much faster than a snail, doesn’t have to go all the way to space, redefine the space between two individuals recognize what can’t be seen, why is invisibility so hard to believe when we know our eyes can only see a sliver of the spectrum?
The silver lining is everywhere once you realize it’s just a rock. Cross the bridge to another being and look back at yourself, you’re just a mirror anyway.
Deflect the hate reflect the love for fellow frightened folks let’s test the ropes at this new way of life, I’ve got your back hammer away plant to stay diversify your fields claim some dirt while there’s still some and make it home, make a stand grow your own, use your reflective mirror magic to make others want to join in your complex web of simplicity. This city will be like one you’ve never seen, couldn’t dream of something so serene, no cars to gleam, no exhausts will scream, no shoes with seams, no clocks to make time seem linear

Wait what am I saying? I’ve got to say yes!
Yes this is a place you’ve seen in a dream, yes you can imagine something so serene, yes we begin to see each other as we are, yes we begin to accept mother nature back, yes we treat water like a living being, yes to less! Yes to the undomestication of all of us!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Two Weeks Left

I fly away from Iceland in fourteen days. CELL classes have concluded, our final Icelandic tests have been taken and the semester wrap-ups have begun. These include finishing our Solheimar projects and presenting them to the community, planning and preparing a Thanksgiving feast for over one hundred people, putting together a piece of work with each other that captures the essence of what we've learned here, and some final community activities.

I have uploaded over a dozen videos from my travels through Iceland on my YouTube page. A few are posted here for a taste, but you should really head over there for the full effect. The videos give a better description and feel for what I've been seeing and doing as well as the people I've been sharing this experience with.

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