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Harper Cowan

29th September, 2014


Today, at a Goodwill grand opening somewhere in Southern Virginia, I bought a cheap looking faux-sheepskin coat and two pairs of shoes. I have no home to speak of and don’t know what state I’ll be in next. I’ve made my home in people, which I’m well aware is widely acknowledged as ill-advised, and I’ve made my home in feelings and I love it. My home is only my body and I can decorate it as I wish.

Today I felt sick at times with worry and fear. I watch these feelings when they come up, and I try to let them go as they please. I watch them come for me and then recede into the distances of my mind, like my favorite old companion – the sea.

At dinner we couldn’t stop saying what we are grateful for. At dinner I couldn’t think of anything not to be grateful for, even the challenges, even the worry. I’m only 26 and I’ve already had what I can now plainly see is an unfair amount of fun and good luck.

I’ve been thinking about fairness. About how life is unfair, isn’t it? I fought that concept for a long time, wanting to believe in the comforting concept of fairness I’d grown up with, but life isn’t fair, and isn’t that a shame. I think about Buckminster Fuller saying that now, more than any time in the world’s history, we have all the resources we would need to provide every living inhabitant with a high quality of life. I look at all the headlines from this summer, the refugees, the crises, and public executions, and I think how can this be? Everyone we meet on this trip is SO good. I firmly believe in the goodness of human beings, how can we as a global society be such a long way off from all the things I believe we all really do want. It sometimes makes me want to recoil in to my creature comforts, but I also know that if I don’t put up the good fight, who can I expect will? I often don’t want to, it seems like a drag – a lot of work with a small chance of success, and I think could seem a lot cooler if I spent my time doing something other than sitting in a tent at 9:30 on a Saturday night trying to type out my feelings to no one, but I have to try my best to make this world a better place, in all the big and small ways that I can muster. I’ve always known that I have to do that.

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It’s funny how we act like magnets for each other now. When I’ve got these things on my mind, and I often do, it only takes 5 minutes of talking to a stranger to realize that they do too, and then they’re no longer a stranger. Collective consciousness is a big buzz word for us this trip.

On Thursday night we were lucky enough to be invited to a bonfire / equinox celebration at a farm outside of Roseland, New York. I was not immediately gob smacked by all the kind people, the cute dogs, the meticulously placed candles, the delicious food, as I should have been – I’ve been to lots of potlucks, lots of bonfires, believe it or not, lots of equinox celebrations! I know I love waking up smelling like bonfire smoke, and I know I love sitting around campfires singing songs with handsome and kind eyed guitar-playing boys until sunrise, I’ve done this many times now. But at one point during the night, when I was sandwiched between two of my best friends in the world, and we were dancing with a man that looked like a boy that broke my heart once but danced like a happy maniac, it hit me – HO-LY SHIT. I am so lucky. I am so, so, so lucky. Everyone should get to love and be loved this much. This circle was powerful – beautiful, natural looking women of all ages with clean skin and clear, shining eyes singing songs that had come to them while harvesting their crops or driving in their cars. Men with kindness on their minds, howling at the moon, and softly quoting to Rumi to the circle. All of us singing together, chanting together, passing around Jesse’s guitar, laughing together, eating food made with love and grown with care from soil not ten yards from where we sat. I mean, geeze louise, I could have died that night feeling I was the luckiest girl alive. Out here, in the fresh air, there is an energy rising, like a hot spring, waiting there for you to shed your skin and get in to it!

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