I starting thinking about this sentence a lot today (something less than a mantra).

Back-to-the-landers (Californians and many others) retreated in the 60s and 70s from cities to rural spaces, some to places that had yet to be populated at all. There was a lot of hippie culture, pot growing, conflicts with locals, and also none (or the opposite) of each. Aaron Cometbus wrote some interviews with some of these folks and their grown-up kids in an old issue of his zine I picked up a couple weeks ago.

Talking to a few people lately, we all have the impression there is a sense of impending doom. The United States is in a bad way, not to mention the whole world, and there are some pretty poor things to come very soon. The consequences of environmental disaster, financial disaster, and more. Even things that were around before our recent financial crashes–the pains of capitalism, corporatism, and so forth.

Many of these back-to-the-landers were thinking the same thing. There was more focus on the collapse of civilization or what-have-you, due to tensions thought to be caused by the urban environs. But the rhetoric really isn’t so different. And how did the react? They retreated, they literally “headed for the hills.”

So what of today? What of our crises today? I say that conditions now are critical and we need to ask ourselves as individuals what we should do about it.

Personally, I don’t think we can escape or avert most of our present crises–there’s no hill tall enough to run to. But more than that, I don’t feel like running, I am interested in confronting these issues and not letting them drive me–or anyone–out of our heads. Funny, all this clarity came from a recent existential crisis, an unbearable lightness of being sort of thing. All I know is, I have things to learn and do, and my intentions are to address critical issues, not ignore or escape them. I invite you to join me.

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