Day 21 | You Seven Are My Desert Odd Kin

 

Question Set 2, Interview 5: Jack

Has this experience changed or affected your definition of happiness? If so, how?

“It hasn’t really. I think I defined happiness quite a while back. This fits in to my idea of happiness, but it hasn’t changed it.”

Can you rate your current happiness level 1-10, 1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest, and explain why you feel this way?

“I would say 9. I would say 9 because this is the first time since being in the southwest that I feel really connected to it, to the land, the sky. Just going for walks and spending time with the desert, pushing my body, exploring this place and getting to know each other better, those are some of my favorite things to do. Our backyard is the Mojave Desert! And there is so much life out there. The sun sets in brilliant colors. We sleep outside under stars. I feel like I’m living in it now.”

How do you think we, as in society, can find a balance between sustainable behavior/ development and happiness?

“The empathy revolution. I think its really about prioritizing caring about each other and caring not only for humans, but about all the things you’re connected to, the animals, plants, land, and other humans. I could be saying that because I take a lot of joy in those things.”

Do you think your life and behavior will change after returning from this experiment? Why or why not?

“When I first moved from the city to an off-grid cabin in the Yukon, a lot of things about my behavior and awareness about the resources I used and their connection to the land changed up there. But here on this trip and this living scenario, it has been more about understanding water as a resource in a desert and understanding the things that my body needs in a, where I can’t catch rainwater or wheel my water jugs down to the creek to fill them up. But I will drink more water. It’s been really good to be conscious about my intake and hopefully that awareness will serve me.”

Can you tell me anything else about this experience and how this experiment has affected your outlook on sustainable development and happiness?

“I mean for me this project very early on became less about navigating the water usage and more about fast tracking community building. Community building and really caring for the people I am living with even though we don’t know each other well and may never be in each other’s lives after this. I’ve been reading this book since I’ve been here, it’s called “Sticking with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Cthulucene” By Donna Haraway. The book is really about ways to think in and with and about the world so we can live and die well together. She talks about the importance of making odd kin, those you are response-able for, human or otherwise. Reading her work in the context of this experiment has formed the way I think about sustainability, maybe more than Ostrom’s principles. If I care about you, I would share that last bit of food or water and that also makes decisions that I make about a limited resource individualistic and more about the people I am responsible for. You seven are my desert odd kin. And those ravens up on the water tower too. Let’s figure out how to live well together.”

Question Set 2, Interview 6: BCC:

Has this experience changed or affected your definition of happiness? If so, how?

“Yes. It has expanded my definition of happiness. I suppose I got here and instantly fell in love with the place was super excited and very happy to be here, but in being here I realized it was less about the place and more about my presence as a being in and with the environment and that allows the happiness I’ve found here to transfer to anywhere in the whole world. And that’s a beautiful notion. I am as excited to leave as I was to get here. And it’s all happy and with good juju.”

Can you rate your current happiness level 1-10, 1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest, and explain why you feel this way?

“11. Because I feel fully embraced by the universe.”

How do you think we, as in society, can find a balance between sustainable behavior/ development and happiness?

“I think that takes life practice of living directly with the earth. Being here I think the major component to being able to be present has a lot to do with the fact that the desert is bound to no constraints of man. Your watch isn’t going to tell you anymore than what the sun has got beaming over your head. How the plants get their water, how you get your water, how we cycle. People have to get out of their homes and sleep under the stars to understand to integrate that into their lives on a day to day basis.”

Do you think your life and behavior will change after returning from this experiment? Why or why not?

“Definitely. It already has. I think the way it will change my behavior or life has everything to do with the fact that I came here looking for a change, a solution, with an open mind. I don’t know where everyone is at, but to be open to change is the first part of anything being possible. I definitely realize how little I need to consume on a regular basis and what healthy things I can implement into my diet with very little time. Water conscious, healthy things. But just being a part of living I feel like my eternal energy has been revitalized and I plan to carry that with me as long as possible. And when it runs out I’ll come back.”

Can you tell me anything else about this experience and how this experiment has affected your outlook on sustainable development and happiness?

“I think it’s further proved to me that sustainable practices, not just about building materials or individual choices, but it’s about how we treat our neighbors and how we care for our planet and what kind of relationship we build with the world.”

 

2017-06-07T07:23:43+00:00