Sunday, October 24, 2010

Release me

Austin Hollow Road

I am at the Austin Hollow acreage, sitting in the sun beneath a huge oak with bees buzzing around me and my shoes off. Land. My land. I want it to be my land.

Even though there is a tobacco field across the street and a neighboring farmhouse, I could be the only person on earth right now, and that’s the way I like it. I want this land, and they are asking exactly $7500 more than I have available. I have made an offer, but we are at an impasse, exactly $2500 apart from each other, and the offer that I have made would still force me to go into debt.

My good friend Sonia thinks I should put a Donate Now button on my blog to help me meet that gap, as if all of you don’t have better things to do with your money, like give it to orphans in Afghanistan, or flood victims in Pakistan, or children dying of cholera in Haiti. No. All of you should give money to me, crazy girl who wants to build an earth-ship in back-country Tennessee, and who will probably spend your hard-earned money on yerba mate and yoga workshops anyway. I don’t know what to do.

I think I’m just going to wait and see if Jesus feels like being nice. Jesus, or fate, or the universe, or whoever is in control. My brother calls me a determinist, which, in many ways, I am. I believe I’m following a path already chosen for me. So I can have faith that whatever is meant to happen will happen, eventually. (With courtesies to Alan Ball.)

The thing with fate, though, is that it doesn’t relieve anyone of the burden of free will. I want this land to be mine, but that doesn’t mean that I’m allowed to have this land. I was actually given a straight-up, hardcore sign the last time I was here. Sharing it with you is something that I wanted to do, but even now it feels too personal.

That I was given a sign begs the question—if I am intended to have this land, then I can’t mess it up. Somehow, I’ll get it. Somehow it’ll come to be mine. Somehow.

I wish I could believe that. I’m a determinist except for when it actually means that someone could be looking out for me. Then it feels too good to be true. Too much like wish-fulfillment. Which is what all of the atheists and humanists out there are no doubt thinking. Then I have to make it mine, wrest it from the hands of its owners by the power of my almighty will.

And if I don’t? Ah, well. We’re all just rats in a cage. I alternate between giddy hopefulness and desolate hopelessness. I have to find a way to have faith, if not in Christ, then in myself. But how?

Clearly, I am questing. But I do love the sun on my back, and even the flies suckling the sweat from my arms.