Hello friends, family, acquaintances and strangers,
I wanted to pause from my storytelling to let you know what I’ve been up to for the past weeks.
I’m back in Bedford/Halifax, as you probably already know, and my re-integration went fairly smoothly. I’m eating foods other than beans and rice, I shower fairly regularly (ha!), and I have access to the sort of convenient technology that allows me to post entries in this blog and update you on my life! It’s nice, of course, and it’s definitely easy, but it’s sort of weird, still. I am rethinking a lot of my old habits, after having spent three months living in one of the world’s poorer countries. I used five scoops of water for a full bathing experience. I spent about ten dollars a week on food. I walked everywhere, washed my clothes in a bucket and dried them in the sun. My clothes consisted of a rotation of five shirts, one pair of pants and a lamba.
I had known for a long time that my lifestyle was wasteful, and I’ve been working to minimize that for years. But now that I know how little I actually need to live comfortably and happily, I realize that I have a long way to go. It’s not that I’m not grateful – I know that I’m incredibly lucky to have been born into my wonderful family, to have gone to excellent schools and to have access to food and to clean, safe water. I’ve learned a lot about what “need” really is, though. The things (especially material things) that I thought were so important, that I “needed” in my younger days seem really bizarre to me now. I guess my priorities have changed. I definitely don’t need (or want) to acquire more “stuff”. But I’m really very happy at this point in my life. I have great friends, I’m doing some of the best reading and writing I’ve ever done, I’m starting to get into the Shambhala Centre scene and learning to meditate, there’s a new moksha yoga studio downtown, Halifax is beautiful (even in the rain), and I’m taking an environmental ethics class at Dal which is taught by an “eco-feminist anarchist” whom I just adore. I’m a pig in mud.
Alright. That was sort of vague and jumpy, I guess. Mostly, I just wanted to say hello in real time, rather than just pouring out stories of days gone by (though there are many more of those to come!), and to encourage you to drop me a note or a comment. It’s weird writing this for an unknown crowd. Who are you?! (Besides Mom. I know you’re out there!) Did anyone find my page through Ryan’s blog? Get the link from one of my presentations? I’m just curious. Also, if you’re enjoying these tales (and I promise to update more often – we’ve been having some wireless connection difficulties at Casa Johnson), please please send my blog link to your friends and to anyone who might be interested. I’m really enjoying sharing my stories with people, so the more the merrier : ) I’ll be doing presentations throughout the fall (U of T, HGS, maybe WWF offices in Toronto, and hopefully a few more), so I’ll let you know when and where those might be.
I hope that you are all happy and healthy!