Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Limbo and The Research Phase
As of now, I've probably watched three hours worth of two-minute YouTube videos and have a list of bookmarked websites that exceeds the length of my computer's window. Today I received the two books I ordered (Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks, and Techniques by Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer, and Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds by Art Ludwig), and it felt like Christmas morning. I've also been reading two other books simultaneously (On the Mesa by John Nichols and Off the Grid by Nick Rosen. Because I will be both off the grid and on the Mesa - how cool is that?)
I've researched earthbag building, house plans, earthen floors, water catchment and storage, composting toilets both lo- and hi-tech, generators, propane appliances, and much much more.
And it's all been really fun and inspiring, but sometimes, on days like today, when my three-year-old wakes me up at four in the morning and I'm just plain tired, it's all a bit much. At these moments, I suddenly get a peek into my life from the point of view of some disapproving stranger, some really nice normal person who's frowning at me and my messy house and hungry cats, asking, "What the hell are you thinking?" (Except they're probably not saying "hell" because nice people don't use words like that.)
And the thing about researching all of these different aspects and stages of the process all at once is that it takes the emphasis off the one step in front of me right now, the one thing I can actually do today, like making a flyer to sell my van or inquiring about a possible source of free bags for building with. I start peering into the future and wondering how I'm going to fit everything I need into a bus, where I'm going to get the money for solar panels, how I'm really going to feel when I'm out on the Mesa with just my teenage son and my preschooler.
Believe me, I have no illusions about it all being peaches and cream; I know I have months of hard work, chaos, and ordeals ahead of me. Which is fine - but not when you try to contemplate all of that at once, because in reality, it's not going to happen all at once. And there's nothing I can do about it anyway, except back out of the project, which is not even close to being an option. Despite any difficulty this project presents, I can't begin to imagine anything I'd rather do with my life.
Because the van still isn't sold and the land is not safely mine yet, and because the bus still sits at the Two Peaks junkyard, I'm experiencing an unsettling sense of limbo. I'm tired of sitting on my butt in front of the computer, and itching to get outside and do some real work.
But this too will pass, right? Patience and trust are my keywords right now. Patience and trust, and putting one foot in front of the other.