Tag Archives: community

When I Was Young

This song was shared with me and my friends and peers during the Vermont Wilderness School’s Southern Vermont Permaculture Immersion Workshop series in Summer 2012. It is a call and repeat song and a moving one to hear around a camp fire. It came across my radar recently, and I want to share it here for my future self and others.

When I was young
I was the sun
Shone through the trees
Into the ground

When I was young
I was the mountain
Knew all the birds
Had my own visions

When I was young
I was the river
Flowed through the mountains
Into the sea

When I was young
I was the ocean
Held all my friends
Throughout the end

I am, I am
I am, I am
I am, I am
I am, I am


To Mediate

Deliberating debates I often find myself navigating toward a middle way.

Solve et coagula, meeting in the middle. Lest 1 forget the value of VITRIOL.

The middle often feels oddly dissatisfying, even when reached with an impressive reconciliation of differences. It can feel as if the debate is cut short, or as if a rightful winner is stuck with tie by technicality. What if it were best to keep debating, even if doing so fiercely and even if missing each other’s points?

I suppose to moderate is not to identify and insist on a fixed middle ground, but rather to remind toward and protect access to a homey middle ground. All things in moderation…including moderation.

Just as debating shouldn’t be a spending of time that could be better spent acting, moderating shouldn’t be a spending of time that could be better spent acting (?)

What is it to act of balance? To do nether? To do both?

Is a waveform up or down? Mu!

This post is inspired in part by my effort this evening to offer a middle ground in an increasingly fierce debate on a permaculture listserv’s email thread about Extinction Rebellion / “collective action” vs. Individual efforts. Both initiatives pointed toward radical mitigation and adaptation for ecological crises. To identify and push for a middle ground felt necessary in the act, but afterward I wondered if it were better to not intervene and let both sides further duke it out. Surely they will still duke it out and hopefully my intervention helps that go productively. Additionally, as I wondered second-guessingly, I also felt the burn of time ‘wasted’ as I recognized and acted on various tasks I could’ve/ would’ve/ should’ve tended to instead of email.

Alas, there are layers of life to moderate, and as usual priorities are of prime importance!