I'm working my way through a fantastic cluster of books at the moment. I've finished The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball and A Householder's Guide to the Universe by Harriet Fasenfest. I'm currently reading The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times by Carol Deppe, as well as The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather and The Quarter Acre Farm by Spring Warren.
I'm not too far into the last two because I was so thoroughly pulled into the first three. The Dirty Life reads like a novel, and I devoured it in less than two days, even with two young children constantly trying to tear my attention away from it. Her story is incredible: a Manhattan writer moves to a farm with her new love, a radical farmer. They now run a CSA farm that feeds 200 people everything they need, from meats to veg to sweeteners.
Tonight I went to my monthly critique/photo gathering group. There are four of us involved, and tonight was our second meeting. Even though we have wildly different lives, it seems that we're all grappling with the same struggles, and mostly, photography is the least of them.
This morning I took my son to the library. I wanted to return the first two books I'd already finished, but I'd marked a few pages with passages I wanted to share here first, so I didn't. I came home from my group thinking about the passage I marked in The Dirty Life.
"When we would talk about our future in private, I would ask Mark if he really thought we had a chance. Of course we had a chance, he'd say, and anyway, it didn't matter if this venture failed. In his view, we were already a success, because we were doing something hard and it was something that mattered to us. You don't measure things like that with words like success or failure, he said. Satisfaction comes from trying hard things and then going on to the next hard thing, regardless of the outcome. What mattered was whether or not you were moving in a direction you thought was right."
I love this concept. This is what I'm trying to give myself permission to do.
Though if I'm honest, I'll share Kimball's next sentence: "This sounded extremely fishy to me."