Friday, September 2, 2011

Grace for the Aspiring No Waste Hippy, and Enjoying Boston

A while ago I wrote about grace for the aspiring hippy parent and I've recently been experiencing grace for the aspiring no-waste hippy. I write as someone who is generally in a hurry and goal-driven, I've tended to favour quantity of activity over quality.

Sometimes I've interpreted slowing down as focusing exclusively on key parts of my life (Noah, Eug, some bits of my work), and cutting everything else (fun encounters with friends, other commitments) out. But I realized that just played into my natural tendency to be more introverted and want to really get stuff done. It feels more valuable to slow down on things like making sure the budget is perfect, cleaning and even certain kinds of cooking (the very time-consuming kind), to make more space for hanging out.

Together with this sense of slowing down, I've again been experiencing a measure of grace about throwing things away. Our worm bin is no longer (the worms died this winter) and I decided not to start a new one, in what felt like the short space of time between living here in Boston and moving to Cape Town. In food scraps, it's seems like a much longer space of time.

I'd been concerned about throwing things away because I had a sense of my worth or authenticity being measured by how much I "walk the talk". And I put a lot of weight on authenticity. But my worth (and yours, obviously), is much more solid and stable-- it just is.  Whether I'm authentic or not, and whether I'm successful or not.

My experience of grace is all tied up with my faith, which is not something I want to push on you because I haven't really yet figured out how to talk about it well.  But Grace has given me some space to try things without worrying about really arriving. 

Now, when it comes to waste or no-waste, I've been encouraged by the idea that my task is much bigger than  just throwing or not throwing over the immediate two month period. My task is to enthusiastically do stuff that builds a lifetime of (hopefully enjoyable) habits. All of the things I try out I have a kind of nerdy enthusiasm for that usually makes me giddy with excitement. Did I tell you how amazing it is to wash your face with nutmeg?

One of my favourite songs is Sawa Sawa by Eric Wainaina, a Berklee grad and a Kenyan artist:
The song refers to Moses reaching his staff across the sea, and it parting before him. He stretched as far as he could, and then the miraculous took over.  May that be true.


CB said...

I think this has been one of your most beautiful posts so far...and it makes me really look forward to seeing you in South Africa :)

CB said...

And, if you need anything more to look forward to about coming back to South Africa, I got to see Sawa Sawa performed live last night :) I think you would have loved it!

Concrete Gardener said...

Caitlin! You saw Eric! =) I hope he makes it to Cape Town. Have you seen Elisa M-- she recently moved to Jo'Burg?