Wood, herbs, oil…

These are busy days. I don’t think I’ve ever had less time to myself, to write and walk and wonder at it all. It’s not all bad, this busy-ness, though, not by any means.

w-ww-poster-2013-a4Weird and Wonderful Wood is a highlight of the year. We catch up with old friends (including one who I hadn’t seen for over 20 years, which pretty much blew my socks off to begin with), we sell Rima’s artwork (and my masks, when I have them, which I don’t at the moment, which irks me) and – as it’s the first fair of our year – we are reminded viscerally of why we love life on the road. We heft our very beautiful, but mighty heavy ex-NATO bell tent and our (less heavy, but still beautiful) stall; we cook breakfast on the woodburner; at night, we play music (Rima’s better at this than me – I skulk around the edges like a teenager while she plays beautifully and with fire-circle gusto) and we marvel at the good folk that abound.

Sometimes, people bring us things. This year, we got given herbs and eggs and a lovely little painting, and a book. This last was a copy of ‘Traveler’s Joy’ by Juliette de Ba├»racli Levy, given to Rima by the headmaster of a local school.

It’s a wonderful book – and I urge you to seek out the writings of this kind, wise herbal pioneer – but it led us on to watching the following film last night, which is what I really want to share with you. It’s about an hour long and is really quite astonishing. Somewhere in my mind, there’s a library of documentaries that I’m building, educations in magic and wonder and reminders of the extraordinary potency of being alive. This is in the library.

I could – and perhaps should – leave it there.

But, I watched another film yesterday, too, while avoiding writing about Postpositivism and PTSD (sadly, I’m not joking.) You’ve probably seen it already, but if you haven’t, it’s a 30-minute distillation of Peak Oil and the problems of growth, well worth watching. I don’t know which order you should watch these in. Perhaps it depends on where you’re already at. Or how you want to juggle the enchantment and the grieving. You’re old enough to figure it out by now, after all, aren’t you?

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5 thoughts on “Wood, herbs, oil…

  1. Hey Tom,

    I’ve got this film opened in another tab for this evening. Thank you!
    Have you heard of Peak Phosphorus? This is just something I came across recently–maybe it’s well known to the masses, I’m not sure–but I find it to be much more important a concern than Peak Oil. What are your thoughts?

    I started another blog the other day over there: http://www.thesebodyclothes.blogspot.com
    I might stick with it this time ;]

    We are off to the Village Building Convergence today in Portland, Oregon which looks rather promising: beekeeping, growing things, building cob structures and so on.

    Enjoy your afternoon~

    x Tiff

    1. Hi Tiffany

      The Village Building Convergence sounds great – I look forward to reading about it on the new blog. Keep us posted if you change address again… ;)

      Peak Phosphorous – as far as I understand it – is part of the general rare earth metal depletion (There’s No Tomorrow mentions this, but doesn’t go into much depth.) The consequences of that, given the insatiable hunger for electronic components in all manner of ways, may well be felt sooner than Peak Oil (although the populations of oil-rich, defence-poor countries may argue differently, as would anyone who’s watching the fracking or tar sands wars unfolding….) It’s all crazy shit, for sure. Paul Kingsorth wrote a good recent essay about the ‘spiritual’ aspect of this stage of the collapse here.

      The move to the NW seems to be suiting you – there’s good stuff happening there, in many arenas.

      Hope you enjoyed the film :)

      Tom

  2. The main concern with Peak Phosphorous is, of course, not being able to grow plant food. Well, not conventionally anyway. All that has to change to start reversing this is to return nutrients to the ground–so, permaculture. But for now, this is still an activity that only a very small percentage practice.

    Anyway, you & I both know that the problems we face are layered and multi-faceted. And for many different reasons, though one central problem that I stand strong against is the state. I have some fairly decent arguments about how many problems could begin to resolve themselves if that main obstacle were eliminated.

    We’ll be visiting the UK in a year or two to visit Northern Scotland (Pictland/my heritage), Ireland, and parts of England. Maybe we can actually delve into this conversation then. Tone of voice is so much easier to work with than text.

    See yas :]
    x

  3. Oh thanks for posting this film on Juliette. I had heard so much about her and the film, but hadn’t seen it yet. Such a wonderfuI wild spirit! I saw a lot of herbalists I know from this area in the film and loved seeing Greece, too, having lived there for 8 years long ago. I decided I couldn’t handle the second film after being uplifted by the first! Thanks again and happy trails to you.

  4. Weird and Wonderful Wood – sounds like my sort of thing! Too late for this year I see, but I’ll definitely keep it in mind for next.

    Some great stuff here. Juliette de Bairacli Levy, peak phosphorus – fascinating…

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