Good Graces, Jack Hazard and I are going offline for the week in celebration of something very dear to my heart, Power Down Week.
The issue of excessive human consumption is a real problem, and one that isn't considered nearly enough. We live in an era where we expect everything to be fast, convenient and catered to our every whim. We want what we want, when we want it and only rarely do we stop to think about the logistics of our desires. It is unfair as citizens of a global community to consistently deny the natural world its natural rhythms. We are not the conquerors of this beautiful world we so briefly inhabit; we are mere visitors. Our time here on earth is fleeting and our impact ought to reflect that impermanence. Energy is a luxury, not a necessity. To appreciate it properly, Jack Hazard and I are going to do our best to live without it.
For one week, we're taking whatever steps we can to reduce our energy consumption. If it's hot, we'll find a breeze; it it's cold, we'll find a sweater. If it's dark, we'll find a candle, and if we're bored, shame on us! The natural world is bursting with possibility, it's up to us to find it.
I challenge you to think about your own habits. Are there things that you can do to lessen the impact you're leaving on the world around you? I encourage each and every one of you to consider your consumption. In what ways can you renounce the grip convenience has on your life? Go for a walk. Talk to your neighbors. (They're probably just as sordid and gripping as whatever you were going to watch on television anyway!) Skip that trip to Target. Do you really need more things? Give something away. Fix something that's broken. Learn a new skill. Plant something. Nurture someone. Enjoy each other. Build a community. These are the real things that matter.
Barbara Kingsolver said it best, "The honorable choice I see is to power-down; stop taking airplane jaunts, repair old things, get out the clothespins, grow food, walk. And face the truth, that I am party to something so enormously destructive I can hardly know its edges. The conquering of any addiction begins with these words: I am the guilty party."
I am the guilty party. This week, I am doing my part to try to change that.
Now my light is fading as this beautiful day shifts into night. I can hear the gentle rhythm of my sleeping boychild, children are laughing somewhere not so far away and the cool and perfect night positively hums with vitality. Who needs a radio with a symphony such as this? I'm ready to power-down this laptop and fire up my imagination. I hope you consider joining me on this adventure.
For a complete list of planned events and workshops, click through to Transition Milwaukee.
If you haven't already, now is a perfect time to discover the excellent blog, A Year of Inconvenience. Pam Mehnert, general manager of Outpost Natural Foods, vowed to live a year without relying on the easy convenience (and obscene sodium content) of packaged and prepared foods. She succeeded, and her success is well documented in photos and recipes. If you're at all interested in this topic, check out her site. It's a wonderful resource. I am constantly inspired by anyone living their values, Pam absolutely does.