It’s a strange thing, the desire to have or relinquish control. I understand why Brian Eno left Roxy Music, but I can’t help being Bryan Ferry, trying to make the results match the vision in my head, being strict about photography standards, turning lights off behind other people. It’s his only complaint about having a lovely big house in the country; everyone is always leaving lights on.

Brian Ferry

“Why did you leave the ballroom lights on all night again, mate?”

Bryan will be disappointed to hear that the lights were left on in my dining room all night again. This is fairly common, as I have a lot of guests, and, well, you know. I hate having to pester people with reminders, and then nag them when they forget.  I should just get up at 2 am as a matter of routine and shut things down that are left on, or have all of the lights on those turny-timers you see in European bathrooms.

In August, though, it’s kind of moot, as I’m moving into a 500 square foot apartment I segregated off of the end of the massive Ranch property. I figure that if I only have that much space, then I won’t have to police anyone. I take things too seriously; it’s no fun for anyone when I see MC kilns burning in classrooms, lights burning in the dining room at night, the sun beating down mercilessly on the Palo Verde nuclear power plant, or a Lincoln Navigator with gold trim. No fun. Best I never see these things.

Even people who still write (or demand) checks make me sigh. Why on Earth does anyone turn their digital money into a little piece of paper that has to be printed in books of paper and ink, then rides around in trucks, and then more trucks, and then hopefully, if the Gods smile, after it’s written, turns back into digital money (but not until it rides in at least three more fossil-fuel powered trucks and has visited at least four more lit up and climate-controlled buildings…)

What a waste of energy, fuel, and a needless risk that the money won’t turn back into money.

Why, Lord, why?

Brian Ferry suggests that we sit outside.

“I don’t like LA- you can’t walk anywhere.”

I’ve just sort of lost my willingness to go along with stupid shit. I’m putting all of my own lighting on solar, so that when the power runs out (usually around 2 am) they simply go out. I’m taking my bathroom off of the sewer grid, so that I’m not one more burden on the dated underground wastewater system. I’m going to use greywater for my garden, from my sink and my shower.

I can manage doing these things now because I’ll have cut my space by 80%. Small is the key to quality, I think. If we only have a handful of anything, we can make sure it’s what we hope it would be. I could never afford to make these decisions for the entire property, but by God I’m making them now, and I can’t think who is going to stop me.

So, as part of my Love Letters project, in 2014 I am going to try to worry only about my own consumption, and see if I can do a better job on zeroing out my own situation. I’ll be happy to have less physical space, less to manage.

And while I love metal, I’m also very happy to have moved professionally away from earning a living from minerals and gems that need to be mined. The more I learned about where my materials came from, and how they got out of the ground… man. Not good. I like the simplicity of the small space, the beads and the thread.

I can’t change the world, but I can change my own life.

And no, I don’t have any checks. Do you take PayPal?

Brian Ferry

“Let’s walk to the village, darling, and drink some local wine.”

7 thoughts on “control

  1. Also, as Bryan Ferry says, “I’m not a crabby old man- I hate it when people say that, I was a crabby young man as well. That is an important distinction.”

  2. yes yes yes. yes to energy saving, and the least possible waste. Glorious post, Kate, you are wonderful!

  3. YAY! This is ALL SO GOOD! I hope to be “off the grid” someday. But for now I am still subject to the Electric Co. At least I have my own well & have no need for air conditioning here. I hate the way my air conditioner sucked electricity when I lived in the midwest.

  4. re: using your gray water in the garden, please do not make the same mistake we made. No borax or Borateem laundry additive to whiten your clothes. They contain boron which is highly toxic to plants! Killed a beautiful sugar maple with it. :<(

    • Right, I use the stuff that is bio-ok. But thank you, I know what a heartbreak that is to accidentally kill a plant or something you were trying to help along. : (

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