Sunday, March 2, 2008

Love in VT to Permaculture in Cuba

My friends and I took a little field trip Lincoln, VT, to Metta Earth Institute: center for contemplative ecology. Lincoln is a special place. A town a the center of a spiritual vorex much like the now touristy Sadona, AZ. A place where native tribes used to gather. It seems to be hidden now, tucked away in the green moutains of VT. We had our own synchronistic meeting. It was the first of their film nights at the Institute, "The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil," run by yogi's Gillian and Russell Comstock. They were very eloquent, encouraging and uplifting people.

The seven of us that had crammed into one car on the way up to Lincoln were the only people that came for the film. We ended up sitting in a circle with Gillian and Russell, drinking nettle tea talking for almost two hours. We got a chance to cover everything we could think of from their experiences in eco-villages to community and communication techniques to eco-building. We couldn't ask for more. We discussed unconscious ranking in groups to the unconscious sexism, classism and ageism that we must become conscious of.

We were all able to look beyond the "cultural taboo" age gap, to see the beauty in the non-authoritarian power we all have and could bring to a circle discussion as equal beings. It seemed to be inspiring for all of us. By the time we watched the film we all felt like family.

The film was great and reinstated why we're working the ecological magic that we are. It was about the forced Peak oil crisis in Cuba and how they came together to use urban and rural permaculture on a national level. It is the Permaculture experiment of the century.


Leigh Blackall said...

Sounds uplifting Benny, all the more because you were able to talk about these things face to face and no doubt be acting in that way as well. I find many of the 'problems' in our shared Western society that you guys were talking about are so deeply routed that it is hard to escape it. Personally I find that some online communuties have been advancing communication without prejudice in this way - simply because they lack the obvious face to face element, and so removes so much of that instinctual communication that is often packed with various prejudices. Not saying we should all start communicating online though, just noting that online could provide fertile ground for simulation and practice...

Can't wait to see that film. Off to the library today.

brent said...

Benny... i just saw the film this weekend as well on Waiheke Island and Roberto Perez (the youngish permaculture guy in the film) was there was well. It was sponsored by our local Transition Town movement. Amazing story, highly recommend people trying to see it.