Friday, August 24, 2012

The Road Ahead

I've been working out the map for the Long Ascent for a long time. Tripp, over at Small Batch Garden, is ahead of me on the actual journey, which he documents well in his blog.  I highly recommend reading it if you want to see what everyday life on the Long Ascent is really like.  He recently posted on his blog an excellent piece, "Starting at 40", that maps out the future pretty well.  The last paragraph gives a wonderful explanation of why I call the road ahead the Long Ascent.  Coming from someone who truly lives it makes it truly meaningful:
I've modeled my activity around these trends and around permaculture principles more generally for the past 4 years, and can say, first-hand, that it is a joyful and rewarding way to live, whatever the time frame for energy descent turns out to be.  It's hard sometimes - automatic dish and clothes washers are pretty awesome tools when one wants to spend their time doing something else.  And let's face it, who doesn't want to spend their time doing something other than washing clothes and dishes by hand!  It's a lot more deliberate, living in power down mode; the number of things one can accomplish in any given day declines dramatically without those excellent fossil fuels working constantly behind the scenes to free up our time.  But there is a certain elagance, a kind of da Vincian sophistication, that can only be found in a life lived simply.  Hardly a day goes by now when either I or my wife don't utter the phrase, "I love our life," and how many people, fossil-fueled or not, can say that?  There is a real and tangible silver lining in energy descent, but it has to be experienced first-hand.  It can't be lived and written about by proxy.  I mean, it can, obviously, but it won't mean much until you own it for yourself.  It's not a lesser life, it's not even a lateral move, it's actually better this way, because it's the way we have always lived and done business.  Realigning with a more classical way of life is normal, peaceful, and fulfilling.  It's the last couple hundred years that are the strange bit.
That's why overcoming our addiction to fossil fuels is the start of the Long Ascent.

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