Here are a couple of drawings from this past winter, inspired by cooperative and integrative tree crop happenings throughout the Mid-Atlantic. I would like to draw a series in honor of the ‘five branch’ vertically-integrated nut supply chain pursued by Keystone Tree Crops Cooperative. For now, I am sharing two early drafts in honor of that same cooperative effort kicking off its first fundraiser (for gatherer payments and some basic equipment).
Though the work is easier together, we spread out in the darkest time of year to cozier burrows, diffusing the weight of winter, lighter on the land.
Though it is dark, we are warmed to know there are familiar others nearby. Our struggles are tied up together, and while one faces scarcity, someone else has more than enough to share, so that we may survive together and work together in brighter times.
So it has been through the ages. So it is still in little ways in overdeveloped places where big systems eclipse mutual aid: we turn to neighbors for power during long outages, for tool shares, for relationship. So it is still in big ways in underdeveloped places where small systems are made sufficient by human relationships: cooperating to cultivate land, to maintain infrastructure for basic needs, for relationship.
The lessons of the seasons proceed before us, though we may be distracted by a house on fire, our own or our neighbors.
May we be there for each other, so that we may all meet our needs, in mutual benefit with the sources of that sustenance and satisfaction. May peace be upon you.
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Societal collapse is underway in the U.S. yet ignored by many. Fossil fuels enable this ignorance while exacerbating the problems: propping up leaders en route to authoritarianism, oppressing far-away people, catalyzing capitalism’s promise of seamless resets with no reckoning of past costs while facing a future of unceasing growth.
Is America really collapsing? How would Americans know? Scientists might, as in Deep Adaptation. Survivors of past societal collapse might, as in the following two articles.
What is a vision of renewal? The Leap, a progressive campaign promoting the Green New Deal as a needed-transformative step that avoids eco-fascism or worse, offers this:
There is no future emergency for which we must prepare.
We are already here—with every dystopian element, every means of revolution. The horrific consequences of our time and its beautiful potential are unfolding everywhere. We are resisting the end of the world by proliferating new worlds. We are becoming ungovernable—unbeholden to their merciless law, their crumbling infrastructure, their vile economy, and their spiritually broken culture.
We violently stake a claim in happiness—that life resides in our material power, in our refusal to be managed, in our ability to inhabit the earth, in our care for each other, and in our encounters with all forms of life that share these ethical truths.