Matter over Mind

July 9, 2012 § 9 Comments

Frankly, I am struggling a bit with updating this spot. Part of it is the madcap rush of mid-summer and my increasing aversion to the desk/computer/interior of our home. It seems the more time I spend outside, engaged with the particulars of innumerable projects that are either partially completed or not even begun in earnest, the more time I want to spend outside. Our phone and internet were out for nearly 3 days, victims of the July 4 thunderstorm, and it was like a gift. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate these conveniences, only that, like most in contemporary America, I too easily allow them to exceed their proper boundaries, to the point where it sometimes seems as if they are using me, rather than the other way ’round.

The other part, however, is that I do not feel compelled to share the quotidian particulars of our life, no matter how un-quotidian (non-quotidian? De-quotidian?) they may seem to others. Truth is, there are plenty of folks doing that much better than I ever will, and my intent with this space is to say something only when I have something that I truly want to say, that feels important to me or, at least, that feels as if it demands some clarity which might be gained by sharing. The fact that I haven’t had much of this lately is perhaps a reflection of long hours of physical work at hand: Splitting wood until the day has been quite nearly overtaken by night is a fine way to scrub cobwebs from the mind. Despite my last post, and the very real need to figure out how to maintain some meager cash flow beyond the even more-meager proceeds our little farm brings in, not much in my life seems as if it needs clarity right now; the demands of what needs to be done on a day-in, day-out basis provide all the clarity I need. This is what matters. This is what I must do.

All of this is a sort of long-winded apology to those who visit regularly. I am all too aware of the expectations that blogs will be updated regularly, and that to not do so is to risk alienating readers. But I am in a place where the physical is taking precedence over the intellectual, and it’s hard to say when that might shift.


§ 9 Responses to Matter over Mind

  • jennifer fisk says:

    Ben you are so right about the computer taking over rather than serving. Everytime I walk past my desk, I check for emails. I have tomato plants to stake, weeding to do, a lawn to mow, and broccoli to freeze not to mention poultry and rabbits to care for. When I finish this, I am going to turn it off until later. You are a true inspiration.
    Looking forward to your next post whenever it happens and your next book.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I don’t visit regularly, but I do get a notice when you put up a new post, and I always make sure to read them. Keep posting as needed. What you have to say is always worth reading.

    • Theresa K says:

      Completely agreed. When posts come, I happily read them. When they’re not, I happily re-read old posts knowing that you are living your life fully with your family as you should be. It is ultimately healthy to follow that rhythm, not the one barked at us by electronics.

  • Vonnie says:

    No worries, Ben. We’re all in the physical part of our year, I myself have a larger garden this year and animals to care for and two young boys to keep busy and out of trouble. I’m also putting by most of our food for the winter this year, so I understand busy, too.
    I can’t update my blog every day either, we do what we can…that’s what winter’s for, isn’t it?

  • maggiemehaffey says:

    We are in the physical part of the year here, too, on our farm, where there is always more to do than time in a day. I haven’t posted on my blog in a good long while either. No matter. Daily blogging is not necessary to a good blog. I enjoy your posts whenever you can get to them. There will be time enough in the winter for longer thoughts. Make hay! Make hay!

  • MHPerry says:

    I have been feeling guilty for not posting in my own blog–I think the drought has wrung out the washcloth of my creativity. Perhaps how often we feel we must post depends on who we believe our audience is. I, for instance, love your “quotidian”observations!

  • Jeannie says:

    I enjoy what you have to share and the photos of your adorable boys. Best to you and your family, and thanks for the little glimps into your life.

  • Maggie Hallam says:

    I had to force myself inside to write this. Once again, ditto. Your blog entries frequently articulate my circumstance exactly. It is uncanny and even disconcerting at times. Aside from farming, I am a visual-type artist. Doing a single artsie thing right now would be like pulling teeth. And there you go again, putting my thoughts into words. As we are in the same boat, I expect your blog posts to come when they come. Our ability to sit down is hopelessly intertwined with the natural world. There are many people with more cash, but few with as much sense.

  • Karen says:

    When ever you post I will happily read! I know that you do not post every day and that is fine. What ever you choose to share is always worth reading. Happy summer, have fun in the pond with the boys in between all that you do. Karen from CT

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