So, during the long absence of posts, the Dirty Way has been gettin’ cleaned up and gettin’ its act together. Ross and I had an epiphany shortly after we came back from Arkansas. This wasn’t working. There was something about isolation we learned in Arkansas: it’s not good. Isolation makes a person a little wacky in the head, and not in an endearing, Jack Sparrow sort of way, more like a scary I have a shotgun now-get-the-hell-off-my-land way. Ross and I realised that though we craved freedom, peace, and quiet, solitude was not at all what we craved. It is an easy thing to mistake solitude for peace. We realised all this while visiting a farm south of Atlanta called Serenbe. Actually, the farm is a part of a a larger community called Serenbe, based on principles of community, design, and environmental ethics that are pretty amazing (all without being a “commune” or land-trust). We spent the morning with Paige, the farm manager, tending to seedlings, “weeding out” the smaller plants to allow the bigger, healthier ones to grow uninhibited. As we drove away, Ross and I both said: the hell with everything else. This is what we want. We don’t want to be interns, we don’t want to wander: we want to settle. We want to be in a place, to get to know exactly where we are, through and through; a place to orient from, a place to call home. We decided that community was a part of what we want for our lives: to create it and to be a part of it. Transience is not a feature of genuine community participation and creation. So, we are building our home at Serenbe and we are orienting from it. Ross has taken a job for the present, using his technology skills to meet people, make connections, put food on the table, and generally to have a good time. I am enrolled at Emory University getting my masters in teaching. Yes, teaching. You all will be hearing a great deal more about my teaching adventures in coming posts (which will be much more regular, henceforth). Some may argue that it is a long leap from farming to teaching, but I could not disagree more. In farming, you are raising and cultivating plants and animals for the survival and perpetuation of human-kind. In education, you are raising and cultivating children for the survival and perpetuation of human-kind. The two are inexorably linked. And believe me when I say that education is a dirty job. It is at the core of the dirty way.
In essence, over the past five months we have closed the doors; we have begun to give shape to our path.