Dirt Catharsis II - From the Other Shore

I followed my own advice:  when you don't know what to do, garden.

Pulling weeds does something to clarify the bigger picture. What keeps growing back is native; understand its purpose. Study your soil and weather - and the local wildlife - when choosing to interject a garden into what's already there.

You can take risks and plant something you really like, but know that it may not survive the environment even if you dedicate yourself to protecting it. Decide which way you're gonna play this - in my opinion, there are no wrong answers.

Sometimes I feel like I'm standing a planet away from what should be my peers. As a rebellious teen cliché, I gravitated toward highly intelligent people who did not hold degrees. They made sense to me, and I seemed to make sense to them. They were happy in their hippie lives, happier than I was in mine. They presented a version of stability to which I could aspire.

I get very clear signals from time to time that I did not respond appropriately to a given situation. I try to remain authentically me, which means I also try to understand where I missed the mark. Where should I have gotten the information I needed to make the right call? 

I'll skip several steps here and just hand you today's weed-pulling epiphany:  a college degree demonstrates that you hold a particular skill set. I knew this; I fought with it because I wanted to defend the intellect of the hippies who'd raised me. There is life outside the box, I scream. We are here. But today I grok it.

Almost everybody really does flounder from time to time. The subliminal framework acquired through academia can be a safety net - not invincible, mind you - to slow the descent. While you're floundering, you're still doing something that the rest of polite society recognises as normal  and they'll hold their positions until you're on even keel again. That safety net can work for you as well as for society. It's not just information you learn in school.

I sometimes feel like my blog is a collection of big words used to explain the painfully obvious in childish terms. But here's the thing: when I was an actual child, I needed someone to explain these things to me. My people were floundering to stay afloat; they didn't have time for stupid questions.

And now, like then, I'm learning to swim by myself because there is no net where I am.

I didn't complete a degree; I started but didn't finish. I could go back to school, but 1)I don't know if that would solve my problem of fitting in to somewhere and 2) I can't afford it, which is how I didn't go to college in the first place. It seems the disconnect is not just mine.  

Polite society counts on higher ed to teach all us young'uns the ropes, because they're busy keeping their heads above water, plugging leaks in the hull, figuring out what's good catch and what should be thrown back. Institutionalized education should present a skill set that society wants its members to utilize. These days, higher education is little more than a paper-mill trying to keep itself in business. Less-polite society doesn't mind. Write your checks, please.

Less polite society, like the one currently holding the reins in our government, doesn't care about societal infrastructure. They're not interested in ensuring that everyone benefits from the higher-education safety net, not interested that households are barely keeping afloat, though they'll use our system to protect what should naturally fail according to capitalism. They're convinced - and try to convince us - that if we hit bottom it's our own fault.
Funny thing about the bottom: we still have intellect and we still inquire. If institutionalized education can't flourish, we'll compare notes and devise circuitous routes. The current administration is growing the hippie base. What keeps growing back is native; understand its place in the ecosystem and let it teach you what it knows.

If you meander through my posts, thank you. Keep floating; we're evolving, bottom-up.


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  2. I truly appreciate your piece of work, Great post.

  3. This is a very insightful post. I've been thinking something similar in watching what grows or doesn't in my garden over the years, as I simultaneously think of my children's growth. This year I let myself surrender to the weeds a little.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! It's an ongoing thing whith me. You'll see me refer to my judg(e)mental nature from time to time, usually with some variation of "what grows, and who dies."


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