“Life is a mask through which the universe expresses itself. We assume that all of humankind and its supportive life forms represent a natural community.”
Frank Herbert

Children of Dune

Reaching Further


We moved to Romania in the fall of 2011. Had we done so two years earlier we would have more money available to build our life here. Had we done so even five years earlier (shortly after I ended my career) we would have much more money available.

I try not to dwell too much on these thoughts. More then anything, I feel they are echoes of lack-of-money-fears. They draw an incomplete picture since money isn’t the only factor in the changes I (and we) have had to go through to make the transition to village life in Romania possible. We went through an entire re-evaluation and fine-tuning of our life values. We shed many things that were weighing us down and took on many things which hurtled us forward. In the process money was always a constant – that is constantly running out (we were living a life dependent mostly on money with little to no income).

However these thoughts are present and together with a recent wave of difficulties we have had to deal with (some still ongoing) they have come into a new light. The difficulties, without going into unnecessary details (some of which you can find at Bhudeva) are mostly about living through our first winter – a real winter with freezing temperatures, snow and a series of resulting malfunctions which range from discomforting to unnerving and an overall, accumulative tiring effect.

A first observation is that our ability to cope (and not break down) in the face of these difficulties comes from all the other things we accumulated while money was running out. Simplicity has made it possible to live without running water. Patience has kept us from falling into a useless struggle with the frozen pump and pipes which have kept our water from running. Appreciation has made the pile of scrapwood we accumulated an invaluable resource since our chainsaw has failed and our logs, awaiting cutting, have been covered by snow. Flexibility has made it possible for us to work through that pile of scrapwood to keep ourselves warm. Curiosity has made it possible for us to learn from our mistakes. Persistence has made it possible to patiently work with what we have instead of getting dragged down by what is missing. Faith has constantly kept our heads above the water, smiling and looking forward to making our life better. Simplicity, patience, appreciation, flexibility curiosity, persistence and faith are just some of the subtle consciousness-muscles we were building up while money was running out. It’s easy to miss them as they slowly build in the shadows of consciousness. They can be hard to overhear over the rush of out-flowing money. But they are the truly valuable resources and tools. They, not money, are what is getting us through these difficulties.

A second and more interesting observation is that this time, in this phase of change, we are bold(er), proactive and committed. The difficulties we’ve been facing are a sign to me that this time we are not holding anything back. We got to Romania and immediately took off on a new course of life. There were no reservations or second thoughts even though we were knowingly heading into the greatest unknown period of our lives. The intense friction we are experiencing tells me that we are indeed reaching far out, further then we have ever dared to reach. In five or six years I believe I will look back at this time of transition with untainted conviction and know, beyond doubt, we went all out … and it paid off big time 🙂

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