Saturday, June 05, 2010

Stationary in Moab

I'm slacking in the blog universe.  It's been harder to sit down at a computer and write when it's been so beautiful out.

Last time I blogged I was at my parents' house in Colorado.  My 82-year-old dad's pneumonia cleared up pretty quickly.  He's strong as an ox.  Pic'd at left are the sweetest couple in the world: my mom (Laurel) and dad (Richard) and the cutest dog ever, Molly.

I want to see my parents as often as I can in this fleeting life.  It turns out my uncle Bob (my mom's older brother) just died.  She and one older brother are left out of 7 siblings.

Carolyn brought me back to Moab on her way back from Boulder, Colorado.  She's been devoting tons of her time to Sol Food Farms and our community of friends.  She has caught the infection.  She and I have talked a lot about this miracle of community we're feeling.  The farm is working from a volunteer spirit.

It's strange to think how few can make a living growing basic, nutritious food in our skewed system.  What is most important is devalued the most, and visa-versa.  If/when our economy crumbles, maybe priorities, simple common sense, will return.  

Yeah, I guess this wilderness/urban hunter-gatherer is going agricultural, for now - more because of the community I'm feeling than a need for food for myself.  From reading this blog, you can glean that I feel the hunter-gatherer model is the most balanced.  But we also have to deal with easing into harmony between modern society and nature.  A perma-culture model seems the best for doing this, though Sol Food is not really permaculture yet. 

Basically, deep down, I'm still on this idea that balance can't truly happen until we take on the model of nature, where one reaps what one does not sow.  Yes, one sows, another reaps.  In other words, pay it forward.  For example, when I eat a mulberry from a random feral tree, I reap what I didn't sow.  And some bacterium eats my waste, reaping what it didn't sow.  This idea of giving up the fruit (reward) of our actions is a prime theme of all religious traditions, most clearly stated in both the Bhagavad Gita and the Gospels.  I've been brainstorming about this for some time - how civilization's banking, commerce, and agriculture are all based upon grasping after the fruit of our own labors, rather than the pay-it-forward economy of nature.  I'm still working on a treatise about the law of compounding interest, in both nature and in commercial banking, and how the appeal to nature's model is at the core of the world's religious traditions.   But it's just too beautiful, springy to summery, outside, with friends I love so much--not too conducive to study & writing.  Oh well, summer is for outward growth, winter for inward, mostly.  Everything is beautiful in its season.

A young couple, Garlan and Erin, came to work on the farm for a couple weeks.  They fit right in and we fell in love with them, too.  That's Garlan, Erin, me, Chris, and Carolyn pic left (L to R).

It's been a season of music.  We had a grand jam party in a culvert under a road a couple weeks ago that turned out absolutely divine.  I kid you not.  We've also had a couple jam times at Rotary park and at our friend Conrad's house that almost rivaled it.  Rotary park has a bunch of "freenotes", xylophones and drums for public use, all tuned in a pentatonic scale so anybody can harmonize on them.  This Moabite, Richard Cook, created them for the park years ago.  Unfortunately, neighbors complain and we have to go silent after 9pm.  That's Chris, me, Pete, and Brer (L-R) tootin' and bangin' on the xylophones.

Our friend Amanda has been keeping life exciting and interesting for us, too.  She and her friend Chelsea took Carolyn (pic right) and me rock climbing a few weeks ago.  Then she's been instigating getting folks together to play Ninja tag every few nights on the monkey bars in the park.  It feels like being a kid again. 

I'm glad I decided to not wander and stay in Moab this summer.


  1. It's wonderful to see you so happy!

  2. It's never too late for a happy childhood !
    Never ending summer, life is good, come on in the water is fine!


    Uncle Cracker

    We missed you, Daniel!

  3. Hey Suelo,
    This quote really made me happy when I read it......"If/when our economy crumbles, maybe priorities, simple common sense, will return."

    I've been saying to my friends that the world currently lacks common sense for months now and the best response I get is indifference. Thanks for being such an inspiration. Keep fighting the good fight man.

    PS. So you know who I am, I emailed you a few months ago asking about your thoughts on living moneyless when you have student loan debts. Take care bro.

  4. Suelo has finally gone to the dark side. It is clear agriculture was the biggest mistake we made according to Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel". It is the basis of modern civilization.

    Is Suelo the new Darth Vader?.

  5. Um, indigenous people were growing crops thousands of years before "Guns, Germs, and Steel"
    Does that invalidate their experience or Daniels? I think not, also I believe he already explained that it was more about fellowship than sustenance. And another thing, harvest is mostly in the fall. (in this hemisphere)

    Agriculture did not become corrupt until credit or money was involved, something Senor Suelo has discussed at length.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with agriculture, it's become prostituted by the system. If you have a tool, it's niether good or bad, it's all in how you use it.

    Uncle Cracker

  6. Thanks, that was a good apology for Suelo's "Selling out". What's next?. I can imagine Suelo stating: "I want to become a banker not for the money but because of the sense of community".

    Bottom Line: It's a fact that Agriculture is the mother of civilization (and commerce). Getting into agriculture is selling out.


  8. Ancient civilizations employed agriculture with no regard to credit and later some did, it's the symptom, not the disease,
    Things are not bad or good until you make them so.
    Just because you can't understand, doesn't mean it's wrong.

    Uncle Cracker

  9. Hi Suelo. Glad to see that you're keeping well. I very much like what you've been writing. I hope the summer is mild and restful - or, if it's not restful, that it's at least positive in other ways :-D.
    Warm regards
    david, Ireland

  10. Hello everyone :-) I'm a similar type of thinker living a simple (yet very deep) life without much money, in the Boston area. My goal is to create a space where people like us could stay/live somewhere near here, or possibly in Nova Scotia, but that's a plan that's on hold as my husband finishes doing his "wandering" (long story).

    Anyway, I wanted to say hi, and I thought this might be a good place to share my own basic philosophy which is neither reap what you sow, or reap what you don't sow, but:

    Take only what you need to be joyful from what is offered, and offer what you have more than enough of to anyone who finds joy in it.

  11. hello Daniel, im in Moab right now, passing through on centsless hitchhiking trip. this is a beautiful place you've chosen to live in and i've been enjoying it very much since i got here earlier today. Maybe we could meet up during my couple of days here. If i see you around town i'll be sure to say hi.

  12. M & UC: Ideally, I'm pretty certain that agriculture & consciousness of credit & debt (barter or money) arose together - so in a way I agree with M (though it's way hard to take M seriously since he argues for the sake of argument: *damned if I do, damned if I don't* as anybody knows who follows this blog). For now I'm experimenting with agriculture, looking for a transition into balance for modern society/community. It could be, in the end, that I totally throw out agriculture-as-we-know-it.

    davidc: thanks, amigo.

    turil: "Take only what you need to be joyful from what is offered, and offer what you have more than enough of to anyone who finds joy in it." That's this whole blog & website summed up!

    Carolyn: see you around today :-)

    rock: Thursday I'm on an excursion, but I'll likely be at Free Meal (noonish) on Friday & Sat on Center Street between the library & courthouse, if you're still around.

  13. yeah, it's like Charlie Brown when Lucy tries to get him to kick the football!

    Kudos Miguel, ya get me to take the bait everytime.

    Any hoo, I guess I'm to blame for saying "agriculture" instead of cultivation or farming.
    I guess I'm all for closing the loop and cutting out petro-farming (don't know if that's a real word).

    The Amish seem to have a sound program with regard for farming and the use of resources.
    They have my admiration even though I don't know squat about their beliefs.

    Have a great weekend everybody!

    Uncle Cracker

  14. I really want to thank you, I came across your site, while looking for other people using Google sights, Living Without Money was a good help for me since lately i have felt like every living thing on earth is plugged into the economy and everyone just accepts that it's that way.

  15. Here's another take on 'Living Without Money':

  16. Hey Dan,

    I think I agreed with every single thing you said in that blog, from wanting to spend as much time with your folks, to not wanting to be on a computer, to the ideal being the gatherer state (I'm still not into the hunter part) where we live in complete harmony with the rest of nature, to permaculture being the best system in the transition, to pay-it-forward as a news lens in which to view the world through.

    You're an inspiration as always brother, keep shining.


  17. Hey Suelo!
    I miss talking to you. It's always good to catch your updates. Your continual sense of contentment has been an inspriation to me since the day I first read about you (not to mention after I met you). This post is ripe with contented-ness. :)I hope I can see you someday soon.


  18. If our economy does fall apart it won't be from lack of trying, It's completely rotten, ruined by greed!
    Change would be good and maybe armageddon would give us the rebirth we need, like a forest fire.
    Jack Handey

  19. reaps what one does not sow. Yes, one sows, another reaps...[an epiphany].

    This is what the genius Karl Marx, the great reaper wrote about...the only answer he didn't provide was how to get the other suckers to sow. It took Lenin, Stalin and a succession of others to provide the answer: Forced labor! Otherwise known as slavery! And their motto: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us...