Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reading of Names Planned for June 22, 2008

'You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.' - R. Buckminister Fuller

Here is something I am planning to do towards making explicit the 'new model' I have been building--DEVELOPING--at the farm for more than 12 years:

Sunday, June 22--the day after the Solstice--I will go out to the 'tabernacle' in the middle of the pasture at dawn, and at sunrise I will begin to mindfully read aloud the names of all the beings who are part of the Community of Life at the farm. I am inviting others to join me in person for whatever span of time they are able throughout the morning--to take turns reading and/or add names I may have forgotten--or to join me in spirit by praying for this Community of Life sometime during that time.

I have no idea how long the reading will take. It will begin with reading a list of scientific and common names of species that were keyed out by a naturalist friend in 2000--at that time, he definitively identified more than 450 species that had established themselves at Pinwheel Farm without intentional human agency, and we have added many since. Then there are ones we know only by 'farm names'--the 'green, curly earth worms' and 'fairy parasol mushrooms', and things we know only by broad category--slime molds, insects smaller than 1/4' long, etc. Then there are all the species we've deliberately planted here, and all the livestock and their parasites and disease organisms. Family members, friends, housemates, volunteers, visitors, customers, suppliers. Far-away supporters who know the farm through my writing. The elements, both chemical and weather. The machines and tools that we use, that come to life in our hands as we learn to know them. Everything that is woven into the web of life here.

I will read these names to let all these beings know that they are recognized, welcomed, and respected as equals in God's creation at the farm...a way of balancing the negation of these beings by the engineers who declare this to be 'undeveloped,' uninhabited land. To let these beings know that changes are coming, so they have time to prepare. To read to them the letter I received from the City. To ask them to share with me, in whatever way they can, their wisdom and ideas for the challenges that we will face together. I do not own this land, I only am its steward, and a spokesperson for its Community of Life: that has been my solemn understanding from the very beginning.

I will ground this reading with interspersed scripture readings, and invite those of other faiths or traditions to contribute as they wish.

I will keep these lists, and keep adding to them, and read them at each turning of the season (God willing), inviting all to share in those readings.

As I am able, I will post these lists online somewhere, to share them with others. If possible, I will have the reading recorded.

I would like to invite anyone who wishes to have their name read as part of the farm's Community of Life, please send me an email ( and let me know. If you plan to attend in person, it would be nice to know ahead, but feel free to just drop by. The way out to the pasture will be made obvious in some manner.

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