One of the courses I took when an undergrad, was one about rural American literature.  It was one of my favorite courses.  I took it at the University of Bergen in Norway.  The professor was American, but all of my classmates were from Europe somewhere.  One of the things I loved the most about American rural literature, was it was about people trying to make it.  Learning how to live in an unpredictable world with little goods.  The lifestyle tended to be one of hard work, living in partial solitude, and learning about nature and how it interacts.  I remember one of the comments a German exchange student said about one of our authors, “All she does is talk about bugs.  It’s so boring.  Who would want to read about bugs?”  The book we were talking about, Sue Hubbell’s The book of Bees (1988), is one of my favorite books now.  To me, it embodied the love of nature and of simple things.  

Most of American Rural literature is written about a love of nature, and living in the country.  Living in Corvallis, Oregon I am surrounded by many who share the same ideal, despite living in a small city.  A want to know your neighbor, to stick your hands in the earth and see the beetles crawl up your arm.  A recent article was published in the New York Times, about a new generation of Oregon Farmers.  However I find there is a new generation of do-it-yourselfers.  Those who want to can their own food, or have their own chickens, make their own food.  A generation who wants to drink their own morning coffee and afternoon tea, enjoy the sun, make your own socks and sweaters.  

So, as with my previous article when I was talking about my fears, why am I doing all this and whatnot?  This is why.  I want to do it myself.  I want to earn my own money, have a connection with what I’m doing.  I want to see how my hard work and effort can make a difference in my life and those around me.  I want to have the chance to go to my nephews and nieces birthday parties, or even plan them, because I’m not so stressed out about co-worker relations that I can’t stay.  I want to spend the morning waking up and listening to fantastic music, dancing in my kitchen while doing dishes, with the sun pouring in the window.  All I do anymore is teach myself things, because I want to know.  I want to know that I’ve made my own quilt.  I want to make my own clothes.  I want to grow my own food, and can my own tomatoes.  I want to work, and be willing to choose to work 12 hour days because I’m excited about what I’m doing.  

I don’t want to worry about getting back from my 15 minute break on time.  I don’t want to worry about spending tons of money on lunch at the nearby store.  I don’t want to worry about a file with my name on it that decides my future.  I don’t want to worry about having a ‘supervisor’ who I have to have like me.  I want the power over my own future, one that my simple ability and work can decide.  I want to be able to have my work make the choice.  I know that the market may decide things for me, but if I never try this...If I never take the time to do this, I will always feel trapped.  I will never feel that choosing to go back to a ‘real job’, was one done not because of social pressure, but because I wanted too.


Here is the Cribbage help icon I've created this past week. You can also see my other artwork as it gets posted on Deviantart. Search for 'pythonliving'