Thursday, December 30, 2010


i wonder sometimes about how broken our planet is, how terribly injured. i grew up near love canal, only 10 miles away or so, and as a young married woman chose to move away partially because home was polluted. terribly so. i lived in dallas, then louisville, then ended up in star lake, a tiny hamlet in the adirondacks. just down the road was benson mines, an iron ore strip mine, abandoned, with huge slag piles all around. there was plenty of ugliness around those heaps of reddish rocks. and more than ugliness. a few years later i moved to this old farmhouse, around 30 miles away. and have had the privilege of finding a home that is moderately safe. i now live not so far from some pretty toxic spots, an alcoa plant, a gm plant, a corning plant. most obvious are dairy farms that spread huge amounts of liquid manure.
and yet i live in a rich ecosystem, a place that sustains me emotionally, physically. i am very lucky, here i could grow most of my food (if i so choose) to live well. there is wild food, too, and the human population is low. (with the social problems of such places of isolation). it is beautiful with a harsh northern beauty that is not for everyone. this landscape of foothills to the ancient adirondacks is suited to me. i have found home.
Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.--Terry Tempest Williams


kaite said...

sounds beautiful to me...k.

aimee said...

everywhere is broken but you have always been so good at finding what is beautiful where most others have failed. thank goodness for that.

Margaret said...

Yes. I too am blessed to live in a place that is less 'broken' than most...and in the broken-ness that there is here, to find beauty.

Thank you for your expression of it.

Anonymous said...

--I think it is meant to be, that you create beauty wherever you are.

T said...

To feel so comfortable with place and self is wonderful Velma. Making that choice to live in the forest to have space, peace and quite suits us. Noticing the birds and wildlife around us. It would be hard to go back to living any other way.

Enjoy a quiet, peaceful, and creative new year.


Sandra said...

I had an alotment garden for two years. I had the wish to grow my own organic food, and watching it grow and let my children feel this process. I started full of enthusiasm. Reading about organic growth. But one day, after 2 years, I looked around and saw that only one of my neighbours was using the organic method, all the others surrounding my little garden were using huge amounts of poison. I knew this would come into my plants as well, so disappointed, I stopped, and went to the organic shop again for my vegetables.
My garden at home, is also surrounded by people using fertiliser, poison etc. but somehow it has become a little haven for birds and a hedgehog.
Wishing you a happy new year in your safe and lovely home.

Fiona Dempster said...

Quiet, stillness, isolation. All special qualities to find in a place you call home. It sounds as if you have found your home - and I am so pleased it is less broken than others before it. Despite what appears to be harshness; it also seems very nurturing. Peace, joy, happy new year!

Barry said...

V- It looks cold but beautiful over your way. Thanks for the journey in 2010 - may 2011 be happy and creative for us. Stay well and keep blogging. B

Velma said...

thank you all for your thoughts here. and i am SO jealous that you have a hedgehog, sandra!

fiona and barry, you two are (as aimee would say) the BOMB!

Valerianna said...

I've just had time to read back through some of your posts... and got here. A moving post, I share your worries, wonder about it all, and I share your astonishment at how the internet community we touch into ( that you wrote about somewhere in my travels here) is so inspiring. And back to the land, living removed as I do, I feel safe, but I know there is toxicity somewhere near, I'm sure. I love that quote from Terri Tempest Williams. I was lucky to meet and spend time with her a few years ago when she came to speak at the Clark University where I teach. I liked her a lot and was moved by her work.

A wondrous new year to you... inspiration and abundance of split rocks and good pulp!

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