NEXIT

Spence here: Here we are in computer-land again! Although, as you read this, we will be wandering the outback somewhere in eastern Oregon, tracking down a lunar eclipse! Put your fears in a box and set it on fire! Guess this is an apt Easter post, although by accident. Happy Jesus Zombie Day, as they say in Portland! Instead of bunnies, our house got chickens this week!

I made up the word “nexit”, although I’m sure someone somewhere has already been using it for the name of some drab, highly successful business venture/merger. (Since then, that “someone” has changed their life, bought a 3 story house in a gentrified neighborhood and now they talk about real estate all day.) Anyway, I haven’t the heart to “Google It”. My own meaning of “nexit” has come to the surface as a cross between what’s next and an exit strategy. Billy and I ponder what it looks like, “exiting” society as we know it. We talk about what’s next as a step towards an alternate living situation which encompasses all that we care about–leaving a light footprint, being in nature, working with the land and creatures as opposed to domination, as well as how to sustain one’s livelihood by doing that which brings joy. Every year we understand more and get closer to our reality. This is valuable work, and in the meantime, we have come to acknowledge and embrace the nomad-life and it feels good. We like to live outside of the rules and bounds of “the everyday” and have been continually exploring. We have no other choice–we get twitchy feet, literally have restless leg, and personally, I get fussy thinking about routine and domestication. I have come to realize I prefer to shake it up because I learn from it and enjoy the new scenery. I had a therapist once tell me I “escape” to keep me grounded in reality. I admit, there are stories out there about me and the tantrums I have had in the past when moving all my stuff…if I like traveling and exploring so much why does it bring me such anxiety? Shedding/growing is like that. Anyway, we’re not getting rid of all our stuff, I guess until we’re dead, as we have plenty of heart-felt musical, arty, valuable tool-y items. However, I think this summer we will travel light, whatever we end up doing, and that feels really good.

I am brain-storm-y this week, in that I have ideas but nothing I could really set down as a plan. This is okay actually–it matches my mood and the recent spring weather. DICHOTOMOUS. It has been sunny, then see-your-breath-cold, then raining, then hailing and hot and sunny again. Sort of like my blood and all the thoughts flowing in my head, like the rivers which are too swollen and fast and murky to fish in. I have to wait a little bit before it is time for casting, or I’ll never catch anything. Might as well sit on the banks for now, get my tackle in order and crack open a cold one. By the way, we bottled our Valentine’s Day home-brew, so it might be a few weeks for that yet!

I am pleased with the direction some of my art is taking me this week. I’ve really been using my dreams more to guide my thinking and my actions; which can make life strange in a good way. I am not seeing everyday-normal things much anymore, as really looking for alternatives. This is how I like it. What is good for others may not be good for me and that is okay now.

Be conversant with transformation.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Billy here. This week we both have been making art projects, bread, tortillas, beer, and making a little music, though not nearly enough! Even still, I feel like these processes aren’t grounding me enough. Spring is rolling the sky up and cracking it open. My dreams are mossy and dark. Things are shaking up and I feel the rumblings of arctic, the ocean rushing into rifts of ices opening explosively. I feel the dryness of the mountain orchids, the thirsty snowless slopes.

For eons, nomadic folks have migrated to follow the food sources or escape rising seas, ice ages, or droughts. Our ability to survive was in our negotiation of transformation. Many have said that we are always in transition and I believe this is true. Life is a dynamic equilibrium that thrives on adaptability. Our heart fails if it cannot adjust to different rhythms. I had a dream last year in which I lived with a family whose home was being flooded. They were living in my hometown on my street, but they were a different family, who I seemed to know just as deeply as my waking family. They warned me as the flood waters rose that the only way to survive was to be flexible, to not be attached to any one way of living.

The spring festival of Ostara in pagan Germanic Europe is the root of Christianized Easter, which was celebrated around the full moon after the Spring Equinox. The goddess Ostara or Ēostre was dawn herself, the springtime and fertility. She was connected to hares, baked goods and the renewed laying of eggs. This weekend we are taking time out to contemplate the lunar eclipse this spring full moon and also our summer adventures. It seems like an apt time to revitalize. I have five months and a whole summer until school starts in September. The seeds saved from last fall must be picked through and now we decide which ones to plant! More thoughts after we return! In the meantime, here is the art we have been working on this week, including a recording of a piano improvisation.

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