Thursday, August 12, 2010's all about family

So, I wanted to write about my experience at High Valley, where I went camping with a bunch of old friends a few weeks ago.  They said we had all camped there before, but I didn't remember.  After we'd been there a few hours, once it got dark, I started having flashes, bits and pieces of time out of my life that had disappeared, returning in manageable, non-lethal doses.  I asked, "was someone married here, under this tree?"  Yes, someone was... 

15 or so years ago, I took my chucks off when I made camp, and set them next to the tent where they remained for...who knows, really?  It was three days of what must have been big fun because as I said, I have no memory of it, except for a blurry mental snapshot of a bride under a tree, my chucks, and parts of a slam-damning awesome ritual!  I remember taking my tent down that last morning, or early afternoon, packing up the car and heading off for a new adventure.  I'm sure my friends wished me well, because, well, they're still my friends, and all our kids just played together for the first time at High Valley this Summer.  I got in my car and drove to Vermont, where I lived for 12 years.  About halfway there, I realized that my chucks where exactly where I had put them that first day of the camp out - on the grass, next to the corner of the tent by the door.  I thought about them laying out there in the field, next to the fading square of the tent's dented grass footprint, and I acknowledged their loss.

Standing there recently, seeing that tree again in the moonlight, remembering the bride under it, I said, "this is where I lost my chucks all those years ago, where we had the awesome ritual!  Yes, I have been here before, now I remember!  This is where I left for Vermont  Wow! here I am again.  All these years later, with all of you, and our"  Mind blowing.

Tonight, I was sitting in the yard, looking for meteors - hey, I saw one last night! - and I thought about my idea of a functional family unit.   In a roomy living space for lots of people that also affords privacy on a proportionately sized piece of land, we would produce minimal amounts of trash by recycling or reusing everything including water (living machines), grow some food to eat and flowers to enjoy, build some useful stuff, be multi-generational, warm and supportive of each other.  We could help empower our community by helping them learn how to nurture their talents for coping and surviving through healing and communication, or whatever suits them best.  I know, it's a utopian dream, but it's not too much to hope for, to live intentionally, like a tribe, each relying on the other. 

Because here I am, back in NY, back at High Valley, 15 years later, kids and all, at the place where I began an important journey, with the same folks who sent me off with their blessings.  What have I brought back for them?  A desire to preserve their culture, to make books and stories.  To tell them, to inform them, to entertain, question and inspire them.  I who gave up or lost everything so I could see what was needed.  Or, I, who took all I could and gave nothing back, never struggled a day in my life, who had more on my worst day than some people have on their best.  Me.  What is it that I've brought back?  Part of it is the wisdom of Bucky Fuller saying there is enough on this planet for ALL of us, for each and every one of us to live our fullest lives, but we have to work for it.  If we do everything we can to ensure the survival of our environment (or organism), than it will ensure ours as well.  I don't want to lose the old arts, we'll need them again.  This is my gift to you ~


  1. I just love you! I would want to be part of your functional family unit and communal living with you!!

  2. (from KH)
    Ah Miriam...I'm reading this and sipping fantastic coffee from a local roaster and feeling very very good. I too am amazed at how my life has circled around. I now live just .3 miles from my parents and find myself standing in the same spots I did. I then look at my kids and realize it's been a hell of a journey to make that circle. I am no longer the same person and I'm starting to think the journey is what it's about. Zev is such a lucky boy to have a Momma who has a curious nature. You are blessed! I am blessed. This also really makes me think we should me somewhere in pa/ny for a camping weekend with our kids. Thanks for dealing with my long post and thank you for inspiring me this am. Love you. Karen


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