Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The swing of the pendulum....

Well, most of those who drop in regularly have noticed it; the trying woodsman is no more...

No I ain't dead yet! Quite the contrary!
I am very much alive and better, as a whole, than I have in a long time.

Yet there has been a change again. A change that actually has been going on for a while, but I became very aware of it just recently. Winter has finally come for real.... and I even haven't unpacked my outdoor wintergear! My woolpants are still in the trunk, the pulkas (sleds) are sitting in the shed and should've been fixed, and the same goes for the skis. I think the woodsman-thing has outlived its purpose for now, as I find myself focussing on other things, like the garden, the future building plans. My new job is a focus too and maybe all this change, all this social activity is making me retreat a little more into the house, instead of running through the woods all day. Having a dog with which a nice, casual stroll through the woods is not an option, does not help either. Or maybe I am just getting a little scared of the world as it is these days and I seek refuge in my own little world.
I do get my share of treeviews and forest air each day anyway, but I somehow lost my drive to go into the woods and play woodsman.... for now.

I am therefore contemplating a change of name for this blog.
Somehow the "trying woodsman" doesn't cut it anymore. Hasn't done so in a long while. I am no woodsman, even though I still love being there. I have become or probably always was, something else, someone else.
I needed to be a trying woodsman in order to get away from modern (Dutch) society. To find a sanctuary. To refind and redefine me, the life I had and the world we were living in.
Living here, in this place, largely ended that search, even though the path, the journey never ends. I no longer need to go out into the woods and enact a woodsman, a bushcrafter or forest hiker. I live near and in the woods now. I am extending my contact with the earth and all its living things therein, on and above.
I have started to grow my own food and my, our changed personal life will finally enable us to speed up and expand our homesteading endeavors. Those, in time, will cut back our dependence of logistical systems and cut back our negative impact on our planet, because of that. And besides, working in a garden, fingers in the soil, not only brings you closer to the earth and its inhabitants, it will also give you peace of mind, because it helps you earth and comforts the mind in knowing what you eat. Or just sitting in it, being.... Looking at birds flying by, seeing the ants march along highways, carrying bits of prey or sticks to build with
I have learned a handful of skills through the bushcraft approach and that made me open my mind and I figured if I activated my accounts on several bushcraft forums that that might reignite that woodsman-thing. If anything I only got put off even more..... A reminder once more to not look back.

Does that mean this blog will change?
No, not really. I just continue to write down and show what I do, why I do it, how I think and about what I feel is important. Nature, homesteading, social issues..... But I will be rethinking, redoing and probably even renaming the blog, since its looks no longer represent the contents...

Kind of a long intro to say just that, wasn't it?

On a completely different note;
Those following the media these days, and I am one of those who tries to limit that, must have noticed that there are things going on....
A vortex of happenings and developments that bode little good; economies not going well, despite low oil prices, legalisation of bank's bail.ins, meaning they can take all the money from those banking with them. Legal theft on a massive scale, just to save themselves from the aftermath of their own high risk money games. Creating a cashless society, as they are doing here, goes perfectly with those plans. People losing jobs here and there. Politicians becoming more and more erratic, unrealistic, alienated, stupid or plainly show who the real masters are. Massive refugee issues. 10's of thousands fleeing, moving to other countries and massive issues in those countries because of that. In Germany a massive sexual assault on women new years eve and reports vary from 100's of men assaulting women to 1000's of immigrants assaulting and actually raping women. Are these really refugees with a belittling view on women or is this an orchestrated act of war, an invasion? Images and movies of columns of young, fit men crossing borders coming back to mind. No women, children or elders in sight.... Soldiers?? Sweden reported similar issues earlier....
Reports on wars and attacks flash by, almost unnoticed. Who can keep up?
Reports and messages of fear, anger, violence and above all hate, all the time, everywhere; it is so easy and accepted to hate these days. Hate the women, hate the others, hate each and everyone that is not like you. Hate people just for having a different opinion, skin color, gender.  Extreme right opinions and groups dominate the "news"flow. They are having a frenzy!
We are so fractured. There is no more unity. Even within groups that seem to share the vision that things are going bad, there is no consensus. Most can't look past their own field of vision, their own ego or their own fears. I said in a previous post that after the Paris talks those against should do well to talk to each other and unite. But most of what I see is fragmentation and I wonder..... should I still commit to the fight or should I step aside, get my own shit together, make a huge bowl of popcorn and "enjoy" the show...

On the other hand I try to focus more on what is NOT reported in the mainstream media, looking for alternative sources and those reports are even more unsettling.
Top people from every field, economical, banking, oil industry, social, medical, from within those institutions themselves, are speaking out, showing us what is wrong, warning us and with every passing day those grow louder, more numerous.... and yet people refuse to hear and see. The plainly refuse, because they can not cope with the horrendous truth,
The build up to a climax and the vastly increasing pace leaves me with a sickening feeling to my stomach. I spend my 45th birthday today in peace and quite, warm and well fed.... How will I be spending my next one? The next 5??
I am but sure of one thing; a storm is coming. It is brewing. I can see the dark clouds on the horizon and I can hear thunder.....

Here too the pendulum swings back again....
History is repeating itself once more, but this time the playground  literally is the world and the stakes are much, much higher... The above mentioned issues are a burning fuze, the last ones are the powderkeg.  Maybe this is a better comparison....

Out of order there will be chaos and out of chaos there will be order once more...

I need to take a deep breath....... and focus on my little world, because that is the one I can change.
And I actually seem to be doing that.
As I told before I am now working with refugee teenage boys and in order to give them something to do (and get them away from a screen) I am setting up a scale modelling group. Via contacts I got support in the form of free scale modelkits, some magazines and utensils and I introduced that to those boys. The response was more than I anticipated, with a dozen wanting to join in. Some wanted to get going right away! I tried to focus on civilian subjects, but those magazines inevitably contained military ones too.
One of those kids wants to build a tank....... I hesitated, considering their background and what implications that might have. Yet he wanted nothing else. Of all things he chose a WW2 German one... And we started talking about that, what that had meant for Europe in those days and via that we came to talk military history to today's happenings and the parallels. And I saw his eyes getting a bit bigger. He got it!
And I realised; I had just touched someone.........


  1. You and I are experiencing something similar, Ron. I used to be obsessed with bushcraft and camping because I longed for the peace, quiet and beauty of the country. Now that I have a cabin in the country and the possibility of exploring homesteading to some degree (something I have wanted since I was a small child), bushcraft has been moving to the background. But like you, I learned many valuable skills and mindsets from bushcraft which are beneficial in homesteading/country living.

    As for the world falling apart, it saddens me, too. All the more reason to become more self-sufficient and be in a safe, low-population-density place. All we can do is try to remain positive and take care of our families, friends and community members the best we can.

    I admire and respect you for working with young refugees. By "taking them under your wing," you are helping them to assimilate, which could make a real difference.

    And Happy Belated Birthday to you! :)

    1. Typical aren't they? Those similarities....
      And thanks!