I am an author and poet working toward living off the grid. The grid being the unnatural
measuring system of our lives. I do it by gardening, canning, beekeeping, bike riding, mandolin playing, poetry reading and candle making.
I would rather ride a bike, split my own wood, brew my own beer and grow my own broccoli, not because I think I can do a better job at it than anyone else, but because I believe the time and talent and care that self sufficiency and sustainability require are the best parts of life.
Here is the best way I can put it: No matter how convenient having someone change your oil is, buying all your food at the supermarket is, driving your car everywhere is, it breaks your life into an imperfect grid with huge gaps where the real beauty of living takes place. The best part about broccoli isn’t having broccoli, but rolling its little brown seeds between your fingers, tucking them into soil, setting a planter by the windowsill and wondering if/when they will sprout up. Calling out in amazement when you see the first little green leaf poking its head above the soil, and then later planting the seedling in your garden or in a pot on your front stoop. And weeks later when it stretches its broad leaves out and sends its great green trumpeting flowers out into the air, you cut them and smell the green juices that ooze from the stalk, and then, oh my god, you have broccoli, you have broccoli, you have broccoli! Can you imagine!? Can you even believe it?
You have defeated the machine.