let’s not write about the Earthships

I was going to write about Mike Reynolds and the Earthship community out in New Mexico this morning.

But then I lost interest.

So I thought I’d post a link to this video on YouTube called “Garbage Warrior”….and write about that instead. “Garbage Warrior” sounded interesting…it sounded like an interesting title.

“What’s that about?” I wondered.

Well…it turned out it was about Mike Reynolds and the Earthship community.

What do they call that? Synchronicity? No…that’s not right….serendipity…that’s what I might call it.

We passed this community when we were visiting my wife’s folks out in Colorado.

We were going down to Taos…and her Dad pointed it out to me.

“(we’re) …taking every aspect of your life …and putting it into your own hands”

That’s a quote from the movie.

I don’t think that would be a very popular option.

As much as we rail against it, I wonder if we aren’t more comfortable at this point with someone else defining the “edges” of our lives?

We “go along to get along” just so that we can live in the world.

Unless you build in a place where people are able to turn their heads and ignore you….”Just let him do what he does…don’t look.  I said don’t look! Turn away!  Don’t look!”…unless you pick a place where people don’t consider it “premium” or desirable, you are probably going to get shut down at some point by some kind of “inspector”.

What’s that quote about artists and marginal properties?  I’ll see if I can find it…I’ll be right back…

Found it…here it is…

It’s my experience that artist communities are almost always camps because they appropriate space that nobody else wants (at the time), but by virtue of a creative progressive view of neighborhoods they create a demand from others that ultimately marginalizes them, so they are forever transient.

James Lynch, founder of Fforest Camp.

“They create a demand…”

That’s like the attitude where you say or think something like, “Don’t have anything too nice….don’t look like you’re enjoying yourself too much…somebody else is going to notice and want to take it away if you don’t fly under the radar…”

That’s the problem with artists, I think.  They can’t contain the “spirit”.  They can’t bottle up something that needs to come out.  They have to express themselves somehow.

Without that kind of expression, I think they (the artists) get physically sick. They break their own hearts over and over without the chance for artistic expression.

And we’re all artists in some way.

But I digress.

I usually digress a lot.

The minute someone notices and begins to celebrate a “community”…maybe even the moment you become a community…it seems like the game is over.

You can’t do anything different and fully obey the law.

The law is inflexible. The law doesn’t attract creative people. The law serves the law.

Watch what kind of hoops Mike Reynolds had to jump through to allow this community to exist.  They had to put the veneer of a “subdivision” over this community to get “the people who do the inspections” to approve what had already been built….and what could be built in the future.

Maybe that’s where the real creativity comes in…even if it’s really only a diffusion of creative energy. Maybe the real creative action is learning how to appease the powers that be…so that you can continue to do what you want to do…while “they” think that you’re only doing what “they” tell you to do?

Someone in this movie says that you have to be allowed to make mistakes to really arrive at something new and good.  I paraphrased what they said…probably badly…but that was the gist of what they said.

If all we are allowed to do is more of the same…safe because it’s “recognized”…then we are never going to come up with solutions that are really satisfying on all levels..creative, spiritual, physical…etc.

We become used to mediocrity and “more of the same” only because someone mandates what “the common good” and “our safety and well-being” entails.

Ah, shoot…I’m just blowing smoke.

These guys worked their butts off out in the desert.  Somebody isn’t making money off of their efforts or they wouldn’t give a flip about what they’re doing out there. Somebody in the world is missing revenue or they wouldn’t give it all a second thought.

When you really get down to it, it’s probably all just about the “jack”.

It makes the world go round…even if you’re out in the middle of the desert.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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