Sunday, November 16, 2008

excerpts from "one straw revolution" by masanobu fukuoka

The usual way to go about developing a method is to ask "How about trying this?" or "How about trying that?" bringing in a variety of techniques one upon the other. This is modern agriculture and it only results in making the farmer busier.

My way was opposite. I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming which results in making the work easier instead of harder. "How about not doing this? How about not doing that?"--that was my way of thinking. I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plow, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide. When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are really necessary.

Fukuoka is quite the radical. Yet I think I agree with the foundation of his views. We've created such a headache of anxiety and complexity in the name of improving our lives and the world. But the truth is that by attempting to regain some of the natural balance, we can reduce our struggling, and simply rest in the perfect way that things were created.

A return to the natural way of things cannot happen overnight. It must come gradually, as one by one, we subtract the "improvements" that actually aren't helping at all.

Unnatural solutions always create new problems. If each successive round of problems caused by these unnatural solutions is again approached by fighting against, rather than working with, nature--the complexity and anxiety will be endless. On the other hand, if we take a step back and really see the root of the problems, we can re-examine our philosophy, simplify our lives, and solve problems by aligning ourselves with the way things were meant to be: simple, healthy, beautiful, peaceful.

Each of us can find our own way to prove that this is true.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


from "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Jose Arcadio Buendia was completely ignorant of the geography of the region. He knew that to the east there lay in impenetrable mountain chain.... To the south lay the swamps, covered with an eternal vegetable scum, and the whole vast universe of the great swamp, which, according to what the gypsies said, had no limits. The great swamp in the west mingled with a boundless extension of water where there were soft skinned cetaceans.... According to Jose Arcadio Buendia's calculations, the only possibility of contact with civilization lay along the northern route....

He threw his directional instruments and his maps into a knapsack, and he undertook the reckless adventure.


I peer in my knapsack to see what maps and instruments I am relying on. Because I am largely ignorant of the geography of my life, and yet something compells me, calls me, into the adventure. A sense of purpose, of impending discovery, beckons to me, and yet sometimes I feel like I lack the recklessness to step forth.

"I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught
in some moorings..."
--from The Harbormaster, by Frank O'Hara

from another book:

"The life of the spirit is not an assumption. It is a struggle. And the proof of its existence is not faith, but longing."

--Patricia Hampl

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

what an incredible day. i'm so thankful for such an amazing leader.
i am glad i voted.