In early 1980’s I wrote to Helen Nearing. Her reply letters are tucked away in a box of memorabilia I keep intending to go through- some day. We were homesteading in the mountains alongside a state park, and endured what we called “Liquid Raid” being sprayed on us, to keep down the mosquitoes. Tourists might not spend their vacation money in a place where these insects appear in swarms and bite unmercifully. That’s what we were told by the local government.
Helen’s reply, in essence; we can run but we can’t hide from society’s worship at the altar of the dollar bill rather than concern for the health and well-being of its members. She mentioned a nearby nuclear plant as an example of being unable to find a place to live away from “progress.”
On a different note, I found this in a search online, and it resonated so powerfully within me, I had to copy it so I could re-read it at my leisure.
“We’ve both had losses and known sorrow, but we’ve not permitted them to dominate the positive aspects of our lives.” Helen and Scott Nearing in an interview. [Mother Earth News Magazine, March/April 1980]
“When some untoward event has overtaken us — such as the death or alienation of our nearest and dearest — we try to center our attention, first, on the basic purposes of life (and death) . . . and then on the lessons to be learned from the particular tragedy. We believe everything that happens to us includes opportunities for self-education. Therefore, we try to make our lives affirmative rather than negative, for — in its totality — life is an affirmation.”
*Photo- my kitchen windowsill reflecting end of summer and some plant slips to nurture through the cold winter; a reminder of growth, renewal, Spring and life, especially with a snowy backdrop in the coming months. Please don’t copy my stuff shown on this site.
– The spam (!!) from sex sites, dating sites, and general junk, by calling my last post Women are Half the Sky, a truth and a book / movie title, thanks to Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Cheryl WuDunn. They tell the truth, exposing human ugliness. The Nearings lived and wrote their truths too. If we want exemplary lives, we have to try to live our own truths.