Someone wrote; some time back; that the purpose of writing, for them,was to explain themselves, to themselves.
That was the most efficacious method, as far as they were concerned, of finding out what, and how, they actually thought.
And I think there is a lot in that, because if you are at all self conscious, or of a nervous disposition, then being interrogated by others, who are actually there, can sometimes feel a bit threatening, or intimidating. Its not always simple, trying to explain yourself.
Not to mention the old 'people pleasing' instinct, that can be activated ...
"What does this person want to hear? Maybe I should say something approximating that?"
I know its very naughty doing that second guessing ; and it doesn't always make for total truth telling, but then what can? How do we catch hold of that nebulous, amorphous, ever changing thing, that we would sometimes wish had a concrete form?
If you truly want to know what i really think about anything ; you might be stood there listening for some time.
Because I've done a lot of wandering about, on most subjects; I'm not claiming to be very knowledgeable about lots of things ; more that there has been 'Much Pondering in the Shires' and constant updating, as new, information is incoming.
Perhaps, this is a consequence of spending many hours engaged in solitary manual labour; which once the task has been grasped; doesn't require too much cognitive effort; so there's lots, and lots of time for contemplation.
Brick distribution, and squash planting, rewarding but not overly taxing to the brain.
Things turned, and marinated, and revisited, and walked round, espied from the back view - often the most interesting angle - not always the presented most obvious 'face'.
Some might call it overthinking ; and that may well be so. But preferable perhaps; on the whole; to 'underthinking' ? Which can, ultimately, lead to reactionary ways of being.
And the reason behind this particular monstrosity of a preamble, is .....?
A little while back, the weekend saw us heading East for a change.
Lots of interesting, and informative, and sociable agroecological farmer and 'any other' land based business was done at our annual Landworkers AGM.
And marvellous food, and company was had by all too.
In truth ? A picture from another occasion, our farmworking womens weekend, held here, in September, but similar scenes of peasants well fed.
Once upon a time I was uneasy about mixing up the yoga teaching; and the farming.
Or rather, uncertain about letting people know that I pursued both of those arts, and crafts as a means of making a living.
As if I was somehow worried about being seen as a Jill-of-all-trades , maybe mistress of none?
Which resulted, in more than a couple of amusing discussions on the phone, whereby someone would have found my number, and be making the necessary enquiries about receiving either a veg bag, or attending yoga classes.
Only for the realisation to slowly dawn upon them, that they were talking to the self same Ruth, who had been teaching them yoga, or supplying them with veg for years.
Thankfully, I'm over that particular worry now.
For certain, and most definitely, being a specialist in one specific field, is a great, and vital thing to be.
It's just that I'm not particularly well suited to that way of being.
The overview of the interconnectedness, and synergy, of all the little things, that make up the bigger things, is what does it for me.
Its not particularly difficult, to see the analogies, between a complex food web, ecological systems, and all the people involved, on a small food producing farm. And ultimately how that feeds into nourishing the local community.
And the interconnectivity, of all the parts, and placements of the body, and mind-breath connection that contributes to the greater health of the whole, when we practice Yoga.
To be honest, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, as if flying over a landscape, and trying to take in the whole picture, all at once.
But not only seeing the mappable 2D surface of the earth, or body, but penetrating the layers, of stuff, moving downwards, and also upwards into the overlying atmosphere, or breath.
It's a lot of connectivity to think about, all at once, or at least to keep in mind ; but that is really our job, to do, both as agroecological farmers. And also as Yoga teachers...
3D Chess, anyone?
No, me neither, thanks - way too complicated... That way a very hurty brain lies ..
And can even lead to overwhelm.
So do try to focus ; on one thing at a time ; but always with a mind ; as to how that element fits into ; and works in the bigger picture.
What brought this particular train of thought to the surface was the direct and immediate experience of this phenomena at our weekend event in rural Suffolk.
I'd offered to run an hours morning yoga session, for the landworkers assembled.
But I really had thought, what with it being scheduled earlyish, and there having been a bit of a bawdy knees up affair the previous evening, that it might be a three sheep and a shephardess sort of an affair.
As it turned out, at least thirty of them turned out, to be maneuvered back into shape...
We focused on doing things for our backs.
However, yoga nearly always does lots of good things for your back, so it wasn't a difficult class to design.
There was a modicum of groaning, and huffing and puffing.
Maybe the previous evenings entertainments had some part to play in this?
But best of all people asked lots of questions - perhaps because the assemblage were comprised of folks who like to know what they're doing, and why, and how is this going to be effective?
What is best practice, to get best results?
There's nothing like a curious, and receptive audience to, make you believe that getting up at 7am on a non work day, is worthwhile.
Then, within an hour of finishing, I was back on again.
Over exposure, or what?
Doing a turn this time, entitled ...
"Appropriate tooling up, and technology for a smaller scaled vegetable farm"
A rather last minute assemblage of pictures of kit from around the 'stead.
Thankfully I have a few on file these days...
Rather predictably the trusty tractor, and her attachments got a starring role..
We also looked at the smaller, more homespun, and adapted bits and pieces that save a lot of time and labour.
Five burner, trolley gas powered flame weeder. get the timing right, and it will wilt seedling weeds, just prior to the direct sown crops emerging.
Then getting down to the really properly tiny stuff, such as well honed harvesting knives.
Some growing essentials whatever your scale - a knife that will take, and keep, an edge, a decent whetstone, and a proper big mug of tea.
And finally back to zone 00 (thats you folks) to remember that our bodies and minds are the primary tools for the job, so we must give them due care, and maintenance too.
i.e. no point having lots of great gear, but no physical capability, or scant motivation to use them.
So, now of course, I have to practice what I teach.. and preach ... Mmmn ?
This is a problem with being an organic vegetable growing, yoga teacher.
In some folks minds; us wholesome sorts must never be ill, or bad tempered, or less than continuously virtuous, or have any mental health issues, or even contemplate having dark thoughts ; about anyone, or anything...
Hmmn, well, if it is that way for some people, then lucky them (maybe?)
But could it also be; that some of us are drawn to these integrated ways of being; or operating ; not because we feel wholesome ; but in an attempt to become more so?
Always; gloriously flawed, works in progress.
I reckon, if you've started from a point of nearly whole already; undamaged goods so to speak; then it must be much harder to comprehend the travails of those ; who most definitely are not...
(And you might even annoy everyone else; with your expectations that they constantly strive for perfection too :-)
We need to investigate ... And to cherish, whatever helps us to see the uneven, and often unlovely destiny of human beings in the world, with humour and delight. Rather than with absolutist rage for an impossible sort of perfection ...