With regards to the liberation of the summer and winter ranges of Tipi Village, the situation would appear – especially to the left brain- dire.
For this land that we love as the places on earth to which we can point out and show our children the exact spot where some of them were born, it would be inappropriate and disrespectful to squabble over it like immature, placeless adults.
Because what we have found is a sense of place in the order of All That Is. That is the gift of this land and the process unleashed by it and that is our debt to this place.
There are connections within that understanding of place which are difficult to accommodate; whether praise, admiration or criticism, admonition. Both extremes require being met with equanimity.
There was the ‘hunter’ from the town of Rogue River, perhaps sixty miles away, who was so appalled by our presence in the wilderness that he wrote to the editor of the Mail Tribune. He claimed his family have hunted where we now live for over a hundred years. Although he didn’t say what they hunted, in that time when bands of families still roamed these mountains not only hunting but gathering, tending the wild, living, subsisting for millenea before the arrival of a people also displaced. I don’t know if those displaced people asked if it was alright if they could stay and hunt and be entitled to replace. By all accounts they didn’t ask and they perceived godless savages scrabbling in squalour.
This was before the land needed liberation, because it wasn’t claimed yet.
There are those who tell us we’re pioneers; we’re at the leading edge of a movement beyond politics into the realm of the physical, blazing a way forward for humanity to begin to integrate and re-integrate with the whole.
There was the reserved man one day when we were tabling outside the Ashland Food Co-op , troubled because, he said, for thirty years he’s swallowed what the banks have forced on him so that he can own his place. If the Land Liberation Project catches on then his land will be worthless, he said, he’ll have spent most of his life in vein. His one precious life.
Then there are the ‘deep ecologists’, some of whom project that humans are alien to Mother Earth, we have no place here, we’re just messing things up for every other form of life on earth.
It’s easy to get hung up on structures of complicated political thought and the state of the status quo. What’s real for Tipi Village is the weather is changing, the rain has come, the geese are flying calling their longing for winter place and here we are, a tiny culture of new old beginnings, like a rabbit in the headlights of the juggernaut of mainstream industrialised America. Surrounded by thousands, tens of thousands of uninhabited acres of world. We don’t know where we’re going for winter range and the left brain is freaking out a bit so the process requires a constant letting-go to intuition, feeling, always deeper to a place where unfolding happens.
So we’re stuck because, politically, a few people are bothered by how we are inspired to live. It appears to challenge the sensibilities of the camo-clad weekend hunter from town, perhaps expecting to see manicured lawns and white-picket fences, buildings or perhaps, more to the point to see nothing so he can have the place to himself a couple of weekends a year. Or the deep ecologist, given up on life, alienated from an integral and intimate process of humanity and world, perhaps afraid of death; the feeling of the safety of soft earth falling on our spent bodies, her reclamation of matter borrowed by spirit. There is also the fear of ‘property’ losing value, individual monetary value, which has only ever been an illusion since the Land Enclosures in Europe. There is a greater value in land that is culture and place within that web of myriad interconnectedness, the relationship with money being only one strand in that web. Remember this. The inherent value of everything in reality is diminished when we ascribe to it only monetary value.
The primary value of land is culture and we can grow great and powerfull when we integrate the true richness of culture, of relationship, relations, of working out and becoming conscious of the names of those relationships and honouring them for what they actually are. When we find place then we cease to be displaced. Few people, especially in America, are not displaced culturally or physically. Those who know your place, you are the richest people on the planet and you have more to share than anyone.
Sinking deeper into understanding the forces of displacement, it is beneficial for the greater good if we can understand the individuals with personal agendas. The value of their ‘property’ and the fear of it being diminished. Their desire to be ‘alone’ in the ‘wilderness’; alienated and disconnected from a confrontation with their own prejudices and inadequacies in the face of a life-way with an intention and practice of integrity, directness and open honesty.
America will truly be the ‘Land of the Free’ when the basic human right to subsist is, at least, not blocked and at best, encouraged as a way of respectfull, accountable living. When, culturally, an aspiration towards sustainable relationships -physically, socially, spiritually- is allowed, encouraged and accepted. When we can move away from patterns of life which displace us into becoming dis-connected fragments of the machine of industry.
“It is easier to contemplate the end of the world than it is to consider the end of capitalism”
And here we still are at an elevation of five thousand feet and already the days are shorter than the nights. And as I write this I don’t know where we’ll be migrating to for the winter. Happy equinox!