Then there are the questions of transportation, clothing, housing, and spirituality. How do they get about? Do they weave their own cloth? What building materials do they use? What holidays do they observe? What about natural phenomena? How do they handle fire season, for instance?
But there is much more to discuss now that we are actually building Ordinary in our daily lives. You'll see more about the steps my family and I are taking to live consciously and make more sustainable choices. How can we reduce the number of plastic bottles and cardboard packages we stuff into our recycling bin every week? How can we further reduce the pounds of garbage we schlep out the door a couple of times a week? What other steps can we take to reduce our carbon footprint, our water footprint?
While Realizing Ordinary contained a good deal of the personal, this blog will be more so. But it won't be just about me. I'll ask you to share your ideas and wisdom as I explore ways to live more sustainably now and, eventually, to live in a sustainable community while growing an ever more sustainable world. I need your support and encouragement, just as I imagine you need mine. Wherever you are on the path, I need to become acquainted with you, learn from you, work with you. We must build an ever-expanding circle of like-minded, like-focused individuals.
Because individual changes are the beginning, but not enough, I will be writing and working for long-term, systemic, cultural changes as well. You will see more action-oriented posts going forward--calls to sign petitions, write your congressional representatives, make your voice heard, calls to stand for peace in your life in some small way every single day. If that change so many of us voted for in 2008 is to come to pass, it will be because we never stopped demanding it, never stopped contributing to the process.
Soon, I hope to have the time to begin writing Ordinary posts again on a regular basis. While the subject matter in Building Ordinary will swing widely, I'll not necessarily be examining every minute detail before posting anew in Rose's journal. I must trust that this living document can bear revisions down the road as we all learn more. The broad picture is what's important now. That and taking action.
Ordinary is a work in progress. Writing it in this public way gives an opportunity for you, my faithful readers, to nudge me in one direction or another when you think I err. Perhaps you have expertise in native plants or straw bale construction and can alert me when I've made an error. Perhaps you've a link to an amazing new passive energy technology that will revolutionize the off-the-grid movement and would be a perfect energy resource in Ordinary.
You can expect to see more Ordinary Heroes as I discover them, too, but I won't post them every Thursday any longer. I will give myself time to vet each hero well before I post. In the past, finding three independent sources of information about a prospective subject has been difficult in the relatively small time I had for researching and writing the articles. This go-round, I'll publish when the pieces are ready.
Those are my major areas of research and development over the next several months: Exemplary eco-villages, food, sustainability, political action, and getting to know the ordinary people who are already building Ordinary in some fashion--you and people I've yet to learn of or meet, that we might inspire each other to continue our work, each of us in our own way.
Are you with me? If so, I ask you to contribute to this work. Tell us what you're doing today, any small step you're taking, any long-term plans you're making, to build a world more like Ordinary. Did you recycle instead of dumping this week? Are you carrying a reusable water bottle to work? How are you making peace in your daily life? What are you learning about your personal impact on the earth? What legacy are you planning?
If there is to be an Ordinary in my lifetime, I need your support. Keep on writing, talking, moving, building, one small step at a time. Our collective efforts are more powerful than we know.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.