The Barrier of Isolation [November 17 2015]
There are many barriers to rewilding but I’d like to tackle one today. I realize that my perspective is one of a priviledged white man but I can’t pretend it’s any other way and I just feel the need to share. Thanks for reading.
My family and I moved in 2012 on my quest to find meaning in my work (or, incidentally, my life). If we already suffered an isolated life before the move, it wasn’t worse than most priviledged modern families. Of course that doesn’t mean much as our modern world pushes us further and further away from each other. Still, we had friends, family and we even talked to some of our neighbors (!).
We lost some of that when we landed in California. As time passed, we did get to know some people: mostly me through work and Flavie through school. After 3 years, we moved to Portland because of my SF tech overdose, the ridiculousness of it all (alluding to the rent prices and the water shortage would barely scratch the surface) but also because there seemed to be a focus in Portland on things that that started coming in focus for ourselves: unschooling, rewilding, nature and health. But with remote work and unschooling, we again hit a bump on the isolation road.
Which brings me to what I really wanted to say: the more we move closer to our uncommon convictions, the more we might feel isolated. In other words, the more we move away from a system that we can’t support anymore, the harder it seems to become to stay connected with people that still fully support it.
And that, I think, is one significant barriers to rewilding for some. Or so it appears initially. While it’s easy to continue having casual conversations with colleagues and friends who don’t currently share the same views, it feels like a lie by ommission to avoid talking about rewilding. Because, truthfully, everything can be connected to the desire for civilization to collapse, for our place to be restored in nature, for our regenerative work to begin. But there are some people that would turn off completely if exposed to these ideas prematurely. And skipping on those discussions seems to me like just another form of isolation.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe it’s just a matter of choosing the right words. Most people, deep down, aren’t happy with their life and that opens up a discussion about something better. For a relative newcomer to the ideas of rewilding like me, it might even be easier to relate to people who are uninitiated rather than the teachers who are so further ahead. It might not be as satisfactory as getting to the core of how we should tackle everything that needs to be done but it seems like an important part. With the benefit that there’s a potential for reaching out to more people and even strenghtening relationships.
All said, I believe the reality might be an unelegant mix. I can’t help but feel the need to break away from this isolation bubble by interacting with like-minded folks. It seems somewhat realistic that some some form of rewilding discussions can happen with friends who are not currently thinking of rewilding or just not thinking of rewilding in the same terms and definitions. It seems unrealistic that this can be fully satisfactory. I’ve said it before but it seems as relevant today than when I wrote this long ago:
I’m not sure friends are forever but we forever needs friends.
And, ideally, some of those friends would be passionate rewilders because it’s a topic that we can’t really pause from thinking about for very long.