- 7:21 pm - Thu, Aug 30, 2012
We officially have a new address
Our names are on the mailbox and everything. We would be delighted to share it with all our friends and relatives, but are not so excited about sharing it with every random person on the internet. So if you would like to know what it is, call/text/email/ask one of us.
Also, the people are starting to arrive en mass today for the Uncivil Union, and will continue to arrive tomorrow and Saturday. Tomorrow is the blue moon so Drew has taken to saying “An Uncivil Union only happens once in a blue moon.” Its true and we are celebrating the moon and our union at a bonfire tomorrow night around a fire circle on the south side of the woods so that we can watch the moon travel as we drink homebrew and toast popcorn.
- 12:19 am - Mon, Aug 27, 2012
It all starts tomorrow.
There are seven loaves of bread in the oven and four kinds of fresh hummus cooling. We are heading out to the farm in the morning and cant wait to see many of you there! People will be trickling in throughout the week and we expect about 65 by Saturday.
To recap: you are bringing a mess kit, clothes, a towel if you plan to shower, camping equipment unless you’ve talked to us and we are finding it for you, yarn/cloth ribbon to add to the weaving, instruments if you play any and enjoy campfire singing.
There will be a large and obvious banner staked at the bottom of the farm driveway so you know where to turn in. If we can figure out an inconspicuous way to get them up we may try to put arrows at the other intersections leading off 57, but even if we cant its only a few turns, you’ll make it.
If you are still waiting for biking directions from the train, we are very sorry for the delay, but we have not received them yet. Call one of us sometime this week while we are out there and we will be able to give them to you that way. We will have phone service but no internet, so if you have any questions or concerns from this point forward, feel free to call.
Here we go!
- 11:42 am - Wed, Aug 8, 2012
We were out at the farm with our friends Regina and John this past weekend, helping them harvest and take their produce to market and looking at the logistics of the upcoming week of celebration. We are getting excited to see you all out there and we thought a few pictures of the land would help you all get excited too. The first picture is the view looking out from the site where the ceremony will be held to the tent village, which will be on the flat plane between the field of Queen Anne’s Lace and the large trees. The second picture is me standing in the field of Queen Anne’s Lace where we will have the ceremony, hopefully there will still be some blooming in a few weeks.
- 1:47 pm - Tue, Jul 31, 2012
Uncivil Union update/reminder
We arrived safely in Chicago last night after a long drive in an incredibly loaded down subaru outback. We are currently staying with friends and hope to have a permanent living situation figured out sometime this month.
This is an update/reminder post as we are starting to think more in depth about planning and logistics for the Uncivil Union, and perhaps some of you are starting to think about plans for your trip to Monee as well.
First, it would be really helpful for all who are planning on attending any part of the weeklong celebration to let us know what days you will be there (so we have an appropriate amount of food for each day), if you anticipate needing a ride from the train station (so that we have an appropriate number of cars available), and if you have extra tents/camping equipment or if you need those items. Please send an email or private message on the blog, or text with this information, or call and make sure we are able to write it down. If you told one of us your plans when we ran into you at the store, or told one of our parents hoping they would tell us, we probably do not have you on the list yet. So if you have informally RSVPed, we would love for you give us more details about your plans and needs, and you havent said anything yet we would love to hear from you.
Next, two lists of items we are hoping you all may be able to bring with you.
Items we are expecting that you will provide for yourself:
- You are in charge of your own mess kit. It can be as simple as a plate, fork, and cup/reusable water bottle. In the spirit of shared responsibility and to avoid having one or two people spend the whole week doing dishes, everyone is responsible for bringing, washing, and keeping track of your own kit. This will also help us conserve water and soap, since you will be the only one using your dishes you can just give them a quick rinse after meals.
- Clothes appropriate for farm life. We would suggest at least a pair of closed toed shoes, clothes you dont mind getting dirty, and a sweatshirt in case the evenings get chilly. We will have a bucket shower rigged up, so you may want to bring a towel (we will provide biodegradable soap).
- Scraps of yarn, cloth, or cloth ribbon to add to our weaving (see the earlier blog for more details).
- Sleeping bag/blankets
Items we are hoping you will bring if you are able (we will try to collect extra for those who are not):
- Camping chairs
- Screenroom tent
- Picnic blankets
Lastly, if you play music, sing, read/write poetry, have a skill you would like to share, know about wild edible plants, birdwatch, stargaze, have a favorite outdoor game, or anything else you can think of - bring whatever you need and enthusiasm to share your knowledge/joy/talents with the rest of us. If you are interested in leading some kind of activity like this and let us know beforehand, we will plan it into the schedule for the week.
- 12:05 am - Sun, Jul 8, 2012
The summer is rushing past with unstoppable speed, working up a considerable sweat of planning and new foods and stress and laughter and actual sweat. We are halfway through our summer at Cross Trainers, somehow having avoided major accidents, incidents, and explosions of heat fueled rage. One of my kindergarten campers told me that Jonah should have taken a jar of fire flies into the whale with him so it wouldn’t be too dark and scary [after a long discussion about various other situationally inappropriate lighting options] and another is obsessed with the joy that Pastor Dave came to camp and let us touch a real fish with eyes and then cooked it up for our snack. Fire flies and real fish with eyes, that’s been the theme of my week, and of our planning for the Uncivil Union. Some things are just pure imagination, creativity, and a frank statement of the obvious [if unconventional] solution to an age old problem. Some things are the gritty blood and guts of the situation, the things we would all rather have someone else take care of, but that do offer an opportunity to reap some joy from accomplishing something distasteful or finding an answer to a seemingly insurmountable problem.
In her book “Pitching my Tent” Jewish feminist writer Anita Diamant offers these reflections on her own decision to marry:
“Why marry? Because marriage publicly affirms the possibility of moving toward another person without reservation. With that momentum, we are propelled toward the center of the heart, toward the center of the universe, and however far that gets us is farther than we’d otherwise go alone. Why marry? Because every wedding enacts a personal connection to the universal story of the human hope for wholeness. Because by stepping into the hyperbarically charged space on the altar (in front of the priest, under the canopy), the bride and groom join in a dance that goes all the way back to the beginning of memory. Getting married is an attempt at turning air into matter, transforming the ineffable workings of the heart into things that are “real”…Every wedding is an invocation of peace and wholeness and connection and joy. Good wishes flow from family and friends, through history and community, with wings and prayers and everything that might turn out to be holy in the universe. So that’s why Jim and I got married —- to receive that shower of blessings, hoping with all our hearts to make them last.”
Anita holds in high regard the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, and while we have obviously chosen a different type of ceremony and language, I think her reflections on the reasons for a couple to express their commitment in a communal setting are spot on.
Lest you think we spend all our time sitting around and discussing the philosophical and psychological reasoning for everything that we do let me assure you that our affection grew much more in the manner of the following poem by Sandol Stoddard Warburg, and we only later realized that we had been feeling the sort of thing that Anita and others put into words so much more eloquently than we ever could.
From I LIKE YOU
“And I like you because when I am feeling sad, you don’t always cheer me up right away. Sometimes it is better to be sad.
You can’t stand the others being so googly and gaggly every single minute.
You want to think about things.
It takes time.
I like you because if I am mad at you, then you are mad at me too.
It’s awful when the other person isn’t. Phooey.
They are so nice and hoo-hoo you could just about punch them in the nose.
I like you because if I think I am going to throw up, then you are really sorry.
You don’t just pretend you are busy looking at the birdies and all that.
You say, “maybe it was something you ate.”
You say, “same thing happened to me one time.”
And the same thing did.
If you find two four-leaf clovers, you give me one.
If I find four, I give you two.
If we only find three, we keep on looking.
Sometimes we have good luck and sometimes we don’t.
If I break my arm and if you break your arm too, then it is fun to have a broken arm.
I tell you about mine; you tell me about yours.
We are both sorry.
We write our names and draw pictures.
We show everybody and they wish they had a broken arm too.”
And I know that our lives will be a lot less like pondering what it means to be “propelled toward the center of the heart, toward the center of the universe,” and a lot more like this:
LIVING WITH IT
It is nothing that they did
Or could have helped, two people
Falling in love. Not even
Because they shared a toothbrush,
Once. It is their germs
They take turns being sick
—one makes the tea, the other
answers the phone. Slowly,
they can’t tell better from worse.
This goes on
Until one dies.
From STILL LIFE WITH WOODPECKER
Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.
So here’s to the fireflies and the real fish with eyes. To the creativity and to the strange but fitting balance of disgust at the distasteful things in life and pride at having done them anyway. To being each others’ accomplice - in making each other feel better when we’re down, in good luck and bad, at home and on the other side of the world, in learning how to ride the wind toward the center of our beings and the center of the universe.
*The quotes I’ve used here were helpfully compiled in this blog.