Damon Lost and Found

My fiancé, friend, foreman and formidable force for good Damon is an incredibly cuddly character.  He’s more a night owl while I am inaruably an early bird to bed and to rise.  So with him being the snuggler that he is I sometimes wake up feeling like the Velveteen Rabbit from the beloved Hans Christian Anderson Tale.  Over the last few years Damon and squeezed and hugged me most evenings, and his Love has healed a very sad and tired wee Dee.  Not that I wasn’t real before his arrival.  I’d been poked and stoked until all that was left was smoke there was no more fire (thank you Martha Wainwright for the feminist anthem).

Interestingly, I get genuinely annoyed when people say that Damon has “made you so happy Dee!” because I worked long and hard and stared down my demons and shadow self then changed my destructive ways (many of them at any rate) and grew my very own fucking happiness.  Damon is his own human as am I, and we are each responsible for our own happiness.  Still, despite being annoyed at the insinuation it was him who made me the happier, healthier old witch I am becoming, it is worth paying tribute to the fact that we do indeed make a pretty good team.  

We’ve had a few days up at the farm together with plenty of work and play woven into the narrative.  We’ve become very fond of a couple I social poached at my BFF Emily’s birthday party just over a year ago now.  We are on a similar journey, as they have taken on a bunch of property projects and are battling ginger with the same level of exasperation as we are feeling with our plethora of pampas.  We went out for dinner Saturday and lost track of Damon who we sent on an errand, as I had the keys in my bag and he locked his phone in the car and a three hour kerfuffle ensued.  Strangely, it was an incredibly important turning point and reminder of how dedicated I am to the aloof goof/spunky monk.  He was unsurprisingly salty by the time his son’s girlfriend Olive rescued him from his several mile hike heading home to the farm, and we had a long and emotional chat about our relationship that reminded us both how lucky we are to have found each other, and we have since spent the remainder of our time here on the farm stopping every few minutes to say thank you to the other for the life we are carving out.  

We really do feel like the lucky ones.  The vast majority of our days are spent content and satisfied and feeling overwhelmingly blessed to have found each other and managed to stay together through the very rocky start I put us both through.

Now we are living the dream, and building a long and intergenerational legacy and rarely (if ever) need step foot into stuffy offices or attend endless meetings.  We have charged headlong into a slower, steadier pace and completely removed ourselves from corporate ladders and the rat race.

And we are moving ahead shoulder to shoulder with new and old friends who watch with wonder and encourage us to succeed.  Our friends Mel and Simon could have (and many would have) been scared off by out dramatic Saturday adventures, including me quaffing too much rose and singing national anthems very loudly as we taxied back up the hill to the farm after abandoning the foot search for Damon and returning to find the phone I had left up the hill on the kitchen bench.  My phone is equipped with a “find my Damon” feature.

And after a hectic and exhausting few hours, I did indeed find my Damon.  And I realised that I am keen to keep him and him above any other with all my happy hobbit heart.

Have a great day, thank you for reading.


Degrees of Despair – Be Designed for Creation

While I am stressed struggling with a now shoestring budget to complete an ambitious outreach project to further our regenerative narrative, friends in Ukraine are burying civilians and posting pictures of corpses with their hands tied behind their backs.  M posted images of Bucha, the valley of bodies on her story the same way I share pictures of flowers, kids, frogs and banana plants.

Four years ago almost exactly, I was eating and drinking with her and a handful of my new friends at the Avere conference hosted by my now dear friend, the eternally kind and delightfully quirky D.  Today M is on the front lines fighting like a warrior goddess to defend and protect her way of life and her people.  D is determined to continue his work to protect nature and encourage electrification and I am buoyed (if not continually worried) by them and the news that they share.

Meanwhile, a mentor of many years and a very powerful and well-travelled man has taken the time to write to me and suggest that history is about to repeat and a war that affects the entire planet looms as a palpable possibility.  I know this, but hearing it from someone so wise and often so accurate in his take on the state of humanity is a source of worry for my mostly calm but still cluttered mind.

This weekend, as I was charging my little rental LEAF at the Warkworth New World ChargeNet charger, there was a woman ahead of me who had to put back some eggs, tomato sauce and butter after stretching her payment across coins and two cards to try and get her fucking groceries.   Obviously I paid for the items she put back and ran out to give them to her.  It was about ten bucks which means nothing to me and was the difference between having eggs and butter to her.  When I handed them to her, sad, soulful, beautiful brown eyes that looked a bit like mine got misty, and all I could do was grasp her shoulder and smile through my mask.  She said “bless you” and I wanted so much to hug her like in the days before covid when we could still do that.  Poverty is an actual fucking problem here in Aotearoa and it is getting worse as the rich get richer and the poor get shit on and exploited.  So many people do not know what it is like to struggle and labeling people as “lazy” or “bludgers” and living large in four bedroom houses bought before the housing crisis makes me want to fucking throw shit through windows, but I never would and I never will, as that is destruction and I am designed for creation.  

So what is my reaction to all of this?  How does a soft hearted eccentric like myself deal with degrees of despair and imminent fear of looming GFC or depression and the most  profound possibility of nuclear disaster or global war in my lifetime?

Apparently I write.  As I am doing now.  To affirm my freedom and control over my own heart and mind, and to flex our connection to each other.  I write in the hope that regardless of the position of the people who own the eyes that will scroll through this blog know that we are all on this planet today together.  We are both still here, and we (probably) both still crave peace and prosperity, not just for ourselves, but for everyone. It is my hope and belief that we both still envisage a future where the planet and people can and do live in harmony with each other and nature.  Even through this incredibly trying and exhausting time, I still believe that greed, hubris and fear don’t define or control us.

And I will keep building a place where people can go to regenerate and connect.  I will keep digging holes and planting seeds and battling what seems to be an impossible mountain of possums and pampas grass to give a small plot of land a fighting chance to thrive as a safe and secure place for birds and bees and plants and trees that are being pushed to the brink of extinction by monoculture, short sightedness, pollution and stupidity.

Every kg of carbon not put into the air.  Every seed planted.  Every good decision to help and not harm keeps us moving forward.  We can all affect the world around us by giving a fuck.  We can do good things and the ripples of those actions carry on infinitely and derail the trajectory of evil and destruction.  Even the fact I can still share this and you can still read it means all is not yet lost so we must keep going, and keep striving for a better, safer, kinder world together.

And if even one other person stumbles across this and is given that little scrap of energy to just keep going, fanning the fire of their own kindness and hope, then there are seeds being planted and they will grow.

I’m scared and tired.  But my feet are firmly planted in the soil and ready to see things grow.  I do not exist to contribute to destruction I am here to nurture and heal and there will be so much demand for that in the time ahead.  So I’d better just keep my head down and be the change I want to see and do the best that I can with what I know, and when I know better, and when there is more resource and scope and opportunity to do better, you better fucking believe I’ll answer that call.

Until then.

Be safe.  

Thanks for reading.