“What is called good is perfect and what is called bad is just as perfect.”
Walt Whitman

My Parents and I, Together


As I was dumping our two latest buckets of humanure to the composting bin a thought came to me about my parents. One of the difficulties they would have in being here is the composting toilets which are a stretch … mentally and emotionally.

Just as it is hard for me to admit and embrace the fact that my life is actually based on  tools and resources my parents gave me, so it is for them to see that my life is a natural evolution from theirs. It is a kind of mirrored difficulty. I believe this is a natural process of evolution that occurs between generations (I am still not a parent so I have not witnessed the perspective of being left behind) it seems to be more extreme in our case – that is in the gap between my parents and I.

I think that the intensity comes from a quality of opposition. Typically evolution seems to take on a gradual process of improvement. Yet it seems that I have been born onto a path of dissolution – of re-examining life values and taking them apart … going back to the basics. I believe that this is not just a personal whim on my part … I believe it to be a sign of our times.

A typical evolution might be described as adding a second floor to an existing house. In this case the foundations and the first floor continue to exist and play a role in a “life on the second floor”. In my case I have pretty much taken a sledgehammer and gradually destroyed what my parents built. This path comes with hardships both for me and my parents. It leaves me with a sense of abandonment (even if self-inflicted) and insecurity. It leaves my parents injured and rejected.

Yet as time passes we seem to be bridging the gap, if not in a shared-life then in understanding and mutual respect. It seems that we are both learning to see that even though we may seem to be at opposing extremes, we are still, inevitably, on a shared path. I believe that we are both starting to see that the intensity of change we both need to accommodate is a sign that, together, we are partaking in and witnessing something unique and good.

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