Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Ten Things Challenge

A while ago, i went through in my head the ten things i use most in my life, and set a goal to try to make as many of them as possible, from natural and local materials. Those that i can't make for myself i'll search for from someone i know, again, as local as possible. Or at least to know th' history of th' things i use most, where they come from, who made them, why were they made, etc...their story. Knowing a story makes a thing much more meanginful, and gets us to consider why we need these things in our life, and whether th' price we pay for them is worth it. It's been quite a challenge, but one that humanity has met throughout most of history, and only in th' last couple of centuries has departed from. That gives me courage, and has inspired me to meet this challenge. And, being a member of a family, that's th' first place to start looking for someone else to make something for me. Like having Beth make my clothes, I'm sure i could do it, but when you're married to a textile artist, it's only rational to allow her work to flourish in your own life. This is not so much a personal goal as a familial one, and more of an effort to feel that empowerment that people must've once felt who were able to meet their own needs. Th' list itself is not easy. We use so many things in our lives that many of th' most common place often get overlooked. My list, roughly, (and it changes frequently) goes something like this, in no particular order.

1. Clothing (or strings to make clothing)
2. Shoes (this could be considered clothing, i know, yet to me somehow feels different)
3. Sleeping quarters (pillow, bed, etc.)
4. House.
5. Food (and water)
6. Fire (light, heat)
7. Eating and cooking utensils
8. Tools (archery, woodworking,oh boy)
9. Soap
10. Furniture (tables, chairs, workbench, etc.)

I'm not going to be too stiff about this, it's a lifelong goal, and i'll build up to it over time, but it gives me one more thing in life to look forward too, and is an absolute joy to accomplish any part of, no matter how small. When one thing is accomplished it empowers you to move on to th' next. In our quest for new skills, we have met many fascinating and inspiring folk, and have begun to understand freedom in new and exciting ways. For me, it has helped me to re-asses my values, and how my time is spent, helped me to see what's really important in my life, and spend more time in those areas.
We'll put up related posts as we get time, slowly perhaps, but steadily- we've already written a bit about foraging, and not having much garden space, that has been a tremendously freeing experience.
So, we encourage you to take up this challenge yourself- It may just change your life for good. Don't be overwhelmed, just start with one thing, and go from there. Everything you do will prepare you for the next. Post comments and let us know what you're working on, ideas, etc. We'd love to hear from you. Start your own blog chronicling your experiences, and then post a link in th' comments section, so we can all share ideas. Let's see what kind of future we can build for our children.
soap dish, spoon blank, and tin can that i pretend is a carving knife

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