Some people are bleak about politics, but I'm beginning to like politics more. Several movements are bubbling up and gaining strength that I am happy to be a part of – sustainable living, buying local. In many ways, each is a part of the other quite often good things come out of discord. There is a national movement to curb the growth and power of corporations, and I like that too, so now I have three issues that interest me, whereas a year ago I had almost none. Watching the Battenkill Books experiment mushroom, I see that there is a wave or two out there, and bookstores are riding on them. Maybe libraries and small businesses and family farms with follow.
We got the chickens almost accidentally, but I have noticed some interesting side affects. We don't throw out much garbage any more. We hardly throw out any garbage. The chickens and the donkeys take care of leftover food. We've made some other changes in the things we buy and are tossing out many fewer trash bags each week. I can't say the farm or my life are sustainable, really – my publisher is corporate (and I really like my publisher), so are my utilities, and the computers and technology I use, and the car I drive. But it's on my mind, a factor in our decisions. And we mean for the sustainable part of our lives to grow.
Somebody sent me a snarky e-mail suggesting I was a hypocrite for buying a video camera (I love the camera) on Black Friday. But I told her I just don't do the snarky e-mail thing. And I don't. Sustainability, like buying things locally, is a process, not an instant reality. I told her when she found a farmstand that sold Canon equipment, I would be happy to shop there. And I was also happy about the $200 rebate I got because it was Black Friday. Life may be black and white for some people, but not me, not my life.
Whatever politics I embrace, I have a strong sense of what I don't want. I won't follow angry political leaders, or embrace politicians who speak in anger. I won't follow political leaders who forget to be compassionate and empathetic to the people they govern and are responsible for. One day there may be a political movement that addresses the anger in our political and media culture, and in our personal communications. I'll join that movement too. It's a very sustainable idea.