Back on the Land After a Long, Hot Summer

Donde Estoy?

You may be won­der­ing where I have been? Does such a pro­tract­ed peri­od of silence mean I have been pulling the plough, with my nose to the grind­stone, prepar­ing a place for the Apoc­a­lypse for you all? Well, yes and no, but most­ly no. See Land-Work Update, below, for more on how the land waits patient­ly for this man.

What’s my excuse? Dur­ing my most recent Oshana island retreat, I caught some­thing sus­pi­cious­ly match­ing the gen­er­al char­ac­ter­is­tics of “Covid.” What­ev­er it was, it kicked my butt and left me with, quote:

A feel­ing of hav­ing lost my con­nec­tion to God, or the soul (eloi, eloi): exis­tence feels cold, machine­like, devoid of pur­pose, life, love, or mean­ing; the prodi­gious abil­i­ty I always mar­velled at with­in myself to find a pos­i­tive out­come to every dark turn has final­ly met its match


Peace At Last?

Now it’s almost two months lat­er, and I am still recu­per­at­ing from the psy­cho­so­mat­ic hit, though I can add that a new kind of peace­ful enjoy­ment of sim­ply liv­ing has fol­lowed on from, and now par­tial­ly co-exists with, the onto­log­i­cal despair. I always was big on bridg­ing opposites…

Essen­tial­ly, since my last newslet­ter, sev­er­al months back, I have gone from being uncom­fort­ably dri­ven (stressed out) to get things done in time for the end of the world (includ­ing get­ting enlight­ened), to a sort of Alfred E. Neu­man “Why wor­ry?” I have all I need right now, and then some; and we sure­ly have five years or so (cf. David Bowie) to get more or less self-suf­fi­cient before the end comes? If there’s one thing I have learned, in 55 years of seek­ing, it’s that oppor­tu­ni­ty (and cri­sis) comes when we real­ly need them to, not because I go chas­ing after them. And if there’s one thing that a spir­i­tu­al per­spec­tive is good for, it’s Hey, beyond basic sur­vival, noth­ing real­ly needs to be done on the mate­r­i­al plane; you dig?


R & R

This process of “soul-reset” coin­cid­ed with the hottest July and August in Span­ish his­to­ry (accord­ing to the locals), and so of land labor­ing, I have done next-to-none at all. What I have found peace­ful enjoy­ment in, instead, has been a whole lot of read­ing (cur­rent­ly I am spend­ing time inside the bliss­ful­ly-famil­iar Patri­cia High­smith uni­verse, with occa­sion­al trips to Elmore Leonard-land, and intre­pid explo­rations of Thomas Berg­er-ville). Add to this, to my sur­prise, a return to some immense­ly immer­sive writing.

Immer­sion in what, you may ask? I had thought Big Moth­er was pret­ty much wrapped up, but due to some sur­pris­ing and spon­ta­neous devel­op­ments, and a rush of unan­tic­i­pat­ed inspi­ra­tion, it has expand­ed from being a small com­pan­ion piece to The (equal­ly small) Kubrick­on (due Feb of next year) to a full-size book—possibly a kind of unof­fi­cial sequel to Pris­on­er of Infin­i­ty—that took a last-minute dive into ser­i­al mur­der and the tech­niques of Satanism!?

Obvi­ous­ly, you can take the boy out of Hell, but it is not so easy to take Hell out of the boy.

On this front, expect an unex­pect­ed pod­cast in the near­ish future, that will bring you up to date. Big Moth­er the MS is due for sub­mis­sion at the end of this month, and for pub­li­ca­tion at the end of 2023.


Land-Work Update

Mean­while, back on the land, aqui en Gali­cia, there are sev­er­al medi­um-size projects under­way, includ­ing: turn­ing the stone shed next to the main house into a guest house; mak­ing the home-made chick­en coup fox-proof; hav­ing some stone ban­nis­ters pro­fes­sion­al­ly installed on our cement ter­race; lay­ing the patio stones below it; and chain-saw­ing some fire­wood and stor­ing it (in the new wood­shed), in time for the win­ter. For some visu­als of what’s done, half-done, still-needs-to-be-done, and may-nev­er-get-done, see recent­ly uploaded pics here.


US Land-Peo­ple Networking

I have been hear­ing encour­ag­ing news from a num­ber of folk in the US about their own back-to-the-land projects; if you are involved in some­thing like this, in the US or any­where, and/or if you are inter­est­ed in con­nect­ing to folks who are, con­tact me and I will try and orga­nize a way for the back-to-the-lan­ders, active or aspir­ing, to net­work togeth­er, and there­by opti­mize the oppor­tu­ni­ties for expan­sion, as the old sys­tem con­tracts and implodes around us.



Since I am cur­rent­ly not run­ning any online groups, my online activ­i­ty these days is pret­ty much whol­ly in the form of 1:1s. I invite you to reach out. Rates and rea­sons are list­ed at the old site. I am aware that some of you are less than sol­vent in these trou­bled times, and that you may be unable to afford a 1:1. If this is gen­uine­ly the case, email and let me know your sit­u­a­tion, and I will try to offer an afford­able rate or some sort of trade-off.

These 1:1 dia­logues open a space for a soul-soul con­nec­tion by which, poten­tial­ly, I can trans­mit to you—after 55 years of relent­less seeking—the holo­graph­ic entire­ty of the hard-earned sim­plic­i­ty and peace­ful enjoy­ment of a land-made man.


Law of Matter

Speak­ing of “obey­ing the law of mat­ter,” I will end with a pas­sage I found recent­ly, in Jacques Ellul’s The Tech­no­log­i­cal Soci­ety, that close­ly approx­i­mates what I have been expe­ri­enc­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing since mak­ing the Big Move:

“The cel­e­brat­ed for­mu­la of Alain has been inval­i­dat­ed: ‘Tools, instru­ments of neces­si­ty, instru­ments that nei­ther lie nor cheat, tools with which neces­si­ty can be sub­ju­gat­ed by obey­ing her, with­out the help of false laws; tools that make it pos­si­ble to con­quer by obey­ing.’ This for­mu­la is true of the tool which puts man square­ly in con­tact with a real­i­ty that will bear no excus­es, in con­tact with mat­ter to be mas­tered, and the only way to use it is to obey it. Obe­di­ence to the plow and the plane was indeed the only means of dom­i­nat­ing earth and wood. But the for­mu­la is not true for our tech­niques. He who serves these tech­niques enters anoth­er realm of neces­si­ty. This new neces­si­ty is not nat­ur­al neces­si­ty; nat­ur­al neces­si­ty, in fact, no longer exists. It is technique’s neces­si­ty, which becomes the more con­strain­ing the more nature’s neces­si­ty fades and dis­ap­pears. It can­not be escaped or mas­tered. The tool was not false. But tech­nique caus­es us to pen­e­trate into the inner­most realm of false­hood, show­ing us all the while the noble face of objec­tiv­i­ty of result. In this inner­most recess, man is no longer able to rec­og­nize him­self because of the instru­ments he employs.”


4 thoughts on “Back on the Land After a Long, Hot Summer

  1. Glad to hear covid final­ly found you and took you by sur­prise. Noth­ing like an abrupt ill­ness to embody you and appre­ci­ate what is more true 

    Wish­ing you enjoyment🙏

  2. Sor­ry to hear about your ill­ness and the atten­dant onto­log­i­cal despair. I hope you’re on the mend. Just com­ment­ing to say I’ve missed your thought-pro­vok­ing and immense­ly eru­dite blog­ging and pod­cast­ing, and am look­ing for­ward to see­ing new mate­r­i­al uploaded in the com­ing months.

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