My name is Dylan. I live in Bellows Falls VT, a small, former industrial town filled with drugs and hip coffee shops, in what was once and what someday again will be the Connecticut River valley. Formerly inhabited by the Abenaki Indians.
The river is currently dammed up to provide electricity to Trans Canada, the shitheads behind the Keystone pipeline.
Lots of nice rusted old trains and abandoned warehouses to play in!
I, like some of you I'm sure, don't know the first damn thing about living like an indigenous person. I did make a rocket stove and a hand-crank washer out of recycled goods, and I helped my friend make a bow, but it wouldn't do much to a deer other than piss it off. I went fishing once and managed little besides getting the line stuck in the tree a few times.
So for the last year that I've been into rewilding, it's been mostly mental. Philosophical. Dare I say... academi. But I've always been a thinker, a reader, a writter, a philosophizer...a bullshitter. I'm not even self sufficient by civilization standards. I'm an unemployed, spoiled college student. So how'd I get into rewilding?
It all started when I read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierra Keith (the new Ishmael?) Before that I had been a left-libertarian anarchist. Anti-heirarchy, but still pro-agriculture, pro-technology, pro-"progress." I had been a fan of diet and fitness guru Mark Sisson for a wile, so I understood the effects of civilization on our mental and physical health, but didn't go much further than that. Essentially, the book destroyed me for a wile. Everything I had taken for granted came crashing down around me an I started to unravel. I also broke up with my long time girlfriend at the same time. And I had to go back to college.
I got through the semester alright, but that summer I was working a 40 hour a week job, trying to get my relationship going again and constantly trapped in my own mind obsessing over civilization and its effect on everything around me. Trying to rationalize my lack of action for the planet, being angry at myself and the people around me for being so civilized.
I discovered Permaculture and Rewilding that summer, which gave me a lot of hope, but I just couldn't shake my feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Every rewilding thing I tried I would get discouraged and give up on so easily. I felt so hopeless at every attempt. And than I'd get mad for being so impatient and on and on. Meanwhile I've gotta work and do my class work and I have friends and girlfreind and family to be there for.....
I needed a change. I finally got rid of my guilt, took my nose out of my books and left behind that voice in my head that kept telling me I wasn't good enough. I realized I was trying to enforce my will on myself and on the world based on beleifs and ideas I had read elswhere that made me feel scared and guilty. What could be more agricultural? More Christian? I decided i needed to listen to my own feelings and intuitions. Feel the flow of things and catch the waves of rewilding. My life is not so serious. It's not so do or die whether i learn this or that.
So I'm going into my third year of college and I'm going to embrace and enjoy the experience to its fullest. I'm not going to obsess and keep lists and listen to the paternalistic guilt inducing voice in my mind. I'm still planning on rewilding in ways, but I'll do it on my own terms. I'd love to get involved with constructing round houses and establishing forest gardens after I graduate. I'd love to learn and share primitive skills. But there's no hurry. What i learn I learn.
I'm finally begining to be happy and proud of who I am and it feels good. I've got a long way to go, but I'm glad I learned so much in this year!
I'm a long reader of this forum and I'm excited to get involved!