On my way to deliver the letter with the magic EIN number on it, I looked at my truck radio display and it read 3:33. My wife, whom was at home, looked at a digital clock at that same moment. The radio station 93.3, that I was listening to had decided to play Metallica's "Sad But True" for the journey. I pulled into the post office and watched that letter go down the post office box memory hole as the last chord from that song rang out. That song from my youth, when I was angry about life. It was cleansing.
Days before my 32nd birthday I placed my resignation letter on my supervisor's desk. This was more than just a resignation from the career I had worked for 6 years as a street medic for Piedmont EMS in the Upstate of South Carolina. This was my Resignation from the Matrix, which was picked up by Michael Ruppert and published on collapsenet as a free feature article for several months. It wasn't particularly well written, because I wrote it one night half drunk as a journal entry, and then emailed it to Ruppert. Apparently he read it and liked it. I worked a one month notice because that's what my supervisor asked of me. Her point was that I was going on vacation for two weeks on the next day, and so would I actually "work" a two week notice. Just days before resigning from my career I signed up to take part in a Permaculture class in Asheville NC called "Permaculture In Action." It was a 10 day, hands on, gathering of like minded people spread over five weekends from May to August. We learned permaculture methods while implementing design from paper to the land. We didn't create the designs, the instructors did. This was to be my new career. Permaculture. I resigned from the Matrix so that I could take permaculture seriously and devote all of my free time to it.
Starting in 2007, after reading James Howard Kunstler's, The Long Emergency, and gettin' edumacated to the concept of Peak Oil, I learned that infinite growth on a finite planet results in a particularly sordid predicament, and what was I going to do about it? Our civilization is completely dependent on a shrinking non-renewable resource. Look around you and notice all of the objects in your view. It's a safe bet that every single one of those objects has been in a trailer on the interstate at some point on it's likely over 2000 mile journey to you. It's also another good bet that some part of all of those objects has been on a large container ship from China as well. The power you are using to participate with your computer, the cup of Joe you're enjoying, and the food that keeps you alive, all have fossil fuel energy in common (even nuclear power is not possible without fossil fuel energy...at least as it's currently practiced). We have built our modern day global civilization on a limited resource! There are a LOT of ramifications from this one easily understood fact that's placed on us by the mandates of our physical reality.
Nearly five years after reading Kunstler's eye opening book, I was in front of my supervisor turning in my resignation. Five years of rabidly searching for the answer to the question "what am I going to do about our infinite growth paradigm on a finite planet?" I had become a father, and now the ante was raised by several orders of magnitude. In a label, permaculture was what I found to be the answer. Permaculture actually addresses a future where there is no longer any affordable fossil energy. It realizes the precarious nature our free energy inheritance is leaving us in. Staying alive as a material being requires energy via food. All 8 billion of us stay alive right now because we still have the cheap energy to run the large tractors and combine harvesters, and to manufacture and use the petroleum based pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and natural gas based fertilizers. Our agricultural land has become a moonscape of dead dirt that does nothing other than act as a chemical sponge. Nothing can live in the dirt except for the genetically modified organisms that we've created to withstand the chemical onslaught. The bulk of the calories that keep us alive, the wheat in our pasta and bread, the rice in our bowl, the soy bean baby formula in our dairy allergic newborns, and the hundreds of corn derived ingredients in the nutrition free high fructose petroleum sugar, and the animal meat that you eat are all possible because of our massive monocroped agriculture which requires petroleum energy to exist. Permaculture recognizes that this is not a sustainable arrangement.
Even the "organic" agriculture in this country is really just the same old "green revolution" shit dressed up in a delusional "we're gonna save the Earth" drag. They spray chemicals just like their Monsanto dependent counterparts. Granted, it's better than conventional agriculture, but it's still not enough. It's not "sustainable." Monoculture agriculture, devoid of the cheap energy, collapses under the weight of it's own gargantuan flesh. Permaculture provides the answers to this mess we're in. I'm always weary of saying such a thing. That this or that provides ALL of the answers, but it's true in this case...this is a too good to be true actually being true. Mark Shepard, the architect of "New Forest Farm" and author of Restoration Agriculture, provides proof to my claim. Perennial forest agriculture is a sustainable practice that is capable of withstanding a changing climate. It can provide us with the calories and nutrition that we need to live. The bulk of the calories in this system come from perennial tree nuts and animal products like milk, eggs, and meat. Petroleum inputs of any kind are not necessary (although they sure do help getting the system up and matured). My point is, Permaculture provides the solutions we need for the post-petroleum world that we're standing on the brink of. I know of no other entity which can make this claim.
Given that you understand the predicament we are in as a global civilization, and given that you want to do something about it rather than nothing, what are you going to do? Permaculture can save us, but it can't save us if we don't practice it and implement it on our landscapes. I have two children now, Ayden Zen whom is 3 and Harper Tribann whom is 5 months. They are collectively the most beautiful thing I have ever done (aside from the Goddess I did to create them). Next to my family the most beauty I have ever created I have done in my backyard using permaculture principles. I have no doubt in my mind that given enough time I'll be able to use this 1.6 acre lot (and hopefully the six acres that surround the Fox Den that are currently owned by in-laws) to keep my family thriving, alive and healthy, and to create a surplus to share with the surrounding community. I'll be doing this using permaculture principles and strategies. Permaculture may not provide my family and I with the money we need to buy the things we buy in this current perpetual growth paradigm, but it will provide us with the food, medicine, raw natural materials, shelter, energy, and community that we need to live a life that is more than worthwhile, but exciting and full of meaning. With any luck it will keep my tribe out of any kind of government line.
I have concluded that there is no better way to spend my time than permaculture. I can practice it every day in the company of my family while creating beauty and regeneration. I believe that is possible. It's already happening. My plan has been a two pronged plan. Practice permaculture and go to school for a nursing license in order to ensure my family will have access to the digibits that are required of us. The problem with this plan is that it lands me in another wealth care career that I will not be able to stomach. I burned out after six years on the meat wagon. But I didn't burn out because of the death, disease, and destruction that comes with knowing the Reaper intimately. I loved that part of the job. I revealed in getting to know what the Grim Reaper actually looks like, and I even got in a few fights with him.
A quick anecdote from my real past:
I managed to kick the Grim Reapers ass out of the back of my meat wagon once. He made himself my business when someones grandma dropped dead while shopping at Walmart. She walked out of the hospital a couple of months later on her own two legs (well, she was wheeled out cause it was hospital policy, but she was able to walk). One time in six years I actually got a "save." I burned out due to the bureaucratically generated bull shit that came from the Bull Shit Black Hole that feeds our wealth care system. We went from being taught that our job began and ended with "patient care" to being told that we were responsible for the happiness of our "customers." That is how our rotten health care system looks at you now. You are no longer a patient to heal, but a customer to keep happy. That's because the lawyers, medical insurance, and big international pharmaceutical companies dictate the nature of our wealth care. It's ALL about making money. End of Subject.
I'm not plugging back into the Matrix. I'm going all rogue Permaculture on the Matrix's ass. And at any rate I destroyed the ports on my physical body that allow me to plug back in, anarchy happened to my Matrix equipment. I'm a permanent inhabitant of what Jason Heppenstall calls Realandia. The place you come to inhabit when you take the red pill. People are too afraid to do anything meaningful about our meaningless perpetual growth paradigm. I'm no longer afraid. I was recently told that I've "got some balls" to do what I'm doing. Giving the Matrix the finger and all. I responded to that claim, "well, they stuck my ass in a solitary cell, and fed me nothing but bread and water, due to my protest about killing thousands of people via bombs from the jets launched off of the US Navy carrier I was splitting atoms on...so I guess I know what I'm up against." Maybe I do have some balls, but I don't frame it that way. I see it as that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. It is my responsibility to help in this transition that our species is going through. I have the tools and the mindset. I have the training. In truth, I have been bred for this my entire life. I have been searching for something worth my time ever since I can remember. Even EMS failed me, and I was able to find myself in a moral dilemma with being the help?!?! That speaks volumes to me.
This is not my resignation to the Matrix. I turned that in already. This is my "fuck you" to the Matrix. I'm not afraid of you. What I am afraid of is what you're ensuring will happen if I, and many people like me, don't do...something. If we don't resist your stupid dictates than we will get what your incompetence has planned for us all. We will get a climate that won't support human life, we'll get more and more super bugs resistant to our drugs and chemicals, we'll get nuclear contaminated radioactive material blanketing the globe (this has already happened...did you know that 14,000 deaths in America are attributed to the fall out from Fukishima Daiichi), we'll get a completely collapsed fishery as our ocean loses the ability to buffer the carbon levels due to acidification thanks to our dependence on petrochemicals, well get more and more neutered and dysfunctional governments, well get less and less nutrition in our food, and we'll get sicker and sicker as Big Pharma crams more and more frankenchemical fukitol derivatives down our collective throats. The Matrix has no answers for a world on the backside of perpetual growth.
I will not be acquiring a mursing license from the Ministry of Health. From this point forward I will be practicing permaculture principles. I'm now an agent for a non-profit corporation called the SUN Foundation (sustaining universal needs). The foundation is headquartered here, at my current residence in the Palookaville sector of Whoville. I have a gaggle of geniuses on my side over at the Doomstead Diner. Essentially the Diner has become a think tank. We talk about Realandia and what we're going to do and are doing about it. The SUN Foundation is the result of more than a year of this think tank activity. It has fermented into the SUN and I am one of it's agents. I believe that the SUN Foundation is a magnate that is attracting the most brilliant thinkers and doers available.
We have members in Australia (which is good due to it being in the southern hemisphere, away from the potentially 15,000 times more nuclear radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Japan, ending the second world war, that is damn near fated to happen with one of the next earth quakes, or tsunamis, that are happening at increasing frequencies around Japan), England, and all over the U.S. Our ideas and tactics will go viral and we will make the Matrix obsolete. We're attempting to use the Matrix against itself by playing the game by their stupid rules. If you're interested in learning more about the SUN Foundation (we're still working on the website because we just got incorporated) you can go here and read till your hearts content. We're gonna fix this mess one tree at a time. One durable and inexpensive shelter at a time. One Foxstead at a time.
But my Fox Den is still alive and thriving, and it's beginning to multiply and grow. Like Gremlins, the more bull shit they get on us, the more we will become. The Fox Den is metamorphosing into a Foxstead which will in turn replicate into many Foxsteads. Or I'll fuckin' die trying. They're gonna have to pry my cold dead fingers off of this Fox Den. I've got a Vixen and Kits to keep healthy and happy, and I've got a community to build that can withstand the post-petroleum future they are guaranteed to inherit. What are you gonna do about that? Dear reader!