Settled Work

Sometimes I will say to a young apprentice, “My longest long-term relationship is with a chimney and a woodstove……over 40 years in the same place.” That tends to scare a young person and brings up a reaction of “Oh, if it gets too difficult, I have options……” Living in one place is something like a long marriage. When the Occupy movement was in full swing, I wanted to say to one of those protesters, “Well, why don’t you just occupy a garden, for a lifetime, and see how that works out? Why not try doing something CONCRETE every day?” I once talked to a man who was in an arranged marriage. “What’s it like?” I asked. “Well,” he said, “at first I didn’t like her. Then in the second decade I not only grew to like her, I loved her. And now, in the fourth decade, I deeply love her, but I have to say that more and more, she is a total mystery to me. I truly don’t understand anything about her.” My first decade in this place was like a love/hate relationship. I would go down to the cove after new-fallen snow and watch the sunset: “She’s so beautiful!” and a minute later the thought would be, “…..and she’s so friggin’ COLD!” What’s REALLY scary for an apprentice is when they get a sense that their longest long-term relationship is with an eternal spark that could be characterized as “conscience” or “consciousness” or “intent, beyond personality”. I’m building a storage building for seaweeds at the moment, because I know the world will continue to need a clear source of dietary iodine to protect against the radioactive iodine being released by so many nuclear reactors, not just the mess at Fukushima, and the words I feel like inscribing on the walls of this particular building are “quietude and stillness, emptiness and clarity, presence and compassion, radiance and light”. That’s the predominant mood of the moment, and I like living with people who are waking up to the fact that they’ve been living life after life in endless moods of enlightenment, in sacred contracts, in endless dream. Happy New Year!




7 thoughts on “Settled Work

  1. What a lovely, inspiring post!!!

    Your words radiate light ….

  2. Your words are so beautiful. I wish I could be an apprentice!!!

  3. Very Zen. You’ve found your place. It’s all lovely except for the “…so friggin’ COLD!” part of it. My garden is southern with a warm wind. May we all wake up. Happy harvesting.

  4. Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout
    out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts.

    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that
    go over the same topics? Appreciate it!

  5. I have just ordered four different kinds of seaweed, and feel a deep affinity towards them already. As a seaweed lover, I look forward to receiving yours, especially because of the inspiration received from your beautiful website and videos – and to know about the hand harvesting. the amazing amount of dedication this takes to do year after year, as well as your your spirituality and compassion inspires me to do more, to serve more. the water and air played a part too in my decision and the water around where you live feels like it has a high vibration and looks so clean. I truly wanted to dive in and breathe and breathe that fresh wondrous air! The story about your father really touched my heart. All of this makes everything so much sweeter. Many thanks, larch and team.

    1. Janet, you’re very welcome! We open up to visitors in the summertime when people come here to camp.
      We have tents on platforms with air mattresses, camp fires in the evening, and you get to eat from
      the garden with the crew. There’s no charge for an overnight or a weekend stay, and if you stay longer,
      we’ll put you to work! We pick up visitors at Bangor International Airport as well as Concord Trailways
      in Bangor or Greyhound bus in Hermon.

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