on growth and value

Wonderful view of the Rio Grande del Norte Gorge

I spent Labor Day weekend with my family in Taos, and we had a great time living simply, enjoying the desert, and cherishing the moment. We spent two nights at Hotel Luna Mystica, an unorthodox hotel comprised of about 15 tiny homes, lucky to get a room because of a wedding which had the place almost completely booked, and a night in a tipi just out of town, and we got a deeper taste of how we want to orient our lives.

View of the sky and the rooves of some tiny houses at Hotel Luna Mystica Early in the live concert we were privy to at the Hotel Luna Mystica

We got to bask in the spirit of the high desert, take in the beauty of the Rio Grande del Norte and its awesome gorge. We ate meals outside, cooked by firelight, and listened to live music in honor of the merging of two families we shared little with except our humanity and physical location. I spent the entire weekend away from work emails (aside from addressing that I had seen a new issue crop up and would tackle it when I got back home) and computers (generous exceptions made for GPS and our digital camera), and we got to take it slow and enjoy spending time with each other.

Tipi in Ranchos de Taos

This world is insane, obsessed with growth, metrics, and consumption, and it's on a course for self-destruction. With the resources at our disposal in the western world, we have a window of opportunity to create a wonderful future, but it involves a hard assessment of our values, and a detachment from the comfortable but unsustainable infrastructure that we have come to take for granted.

For the skeptics out there, it's worth noting first where we're at. We are currently, especially in the USA, but basically everywhere, in a position where unsustainable growth in housing and infrastructure is subsudized by new investment and then abandoned, cyclically, which is combined with a deleterious disregard for intentional community spaces, and a complacent acceptance of continuous consumption at home.

These indicators are at a nexus of other similar effects in computing, agriculture, and other aspects of production and consumption. With all the data in front of you, it's pretty obvious what the outcome is, unless...

We downscale. Everything.

View of the Jimez Mountains from the Hotel Luna Mystica

For us, this means we want to live in a tiny home, detached from the grid (preferrably mobile -- we are looking out for a realistic way to achieve getting a bus conversion before our current lease is up), and being mindful consumers -- eating local, buying used, and using limited resources sparingly. Most of the latter are already a reality, but we are always trying to improve upon our lifestyle and put our money where are our mouths are.

What are we valuating as humans? Are we obsessed with gadgetry and artificial injection of information into our brains? Do we give a real shit about this rock we call home, or other beings that live on it? Are we willing to put up and make the personal changes (read sacrifices) needed to make room for others on planet Earth?

Us, we sure as hell are going to try.