JIM CONRAD'S
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
Issued from Rancho Regenesis
in the woods ±4kms west of Ek Balam Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

SEPTEMBER 9, 2016

*****

GOOD-BYE HUT
They began building a road that looked like it'd pass about 15 feet in front of the hut, cutting down forest around the hut, and erecting a rock wall that, if projected in the direction they were building it, would pass through the hut's center. I wrote to the Hacienda's owner asking if my suspicions were true. They were right, the hut had to go, and the woods around it.

*****

HELLO RANCHO REGENESIS
Last Tuesday my friend Lee of Genesis Retreat near the Maya ruin of Ek-Balam came in her pickup truck, loaded me up, and later that day I was living at her rancho deep in the forest about half an hour by bike from her eco-retreat in the town of Ek-Balam beside the major Maya ruin of Ek-Balam. The rancho is called Rancho Regenesis and unlike her tourist-oriented retreat has no telephone, and no electricity except from the solar panels operating a solar water pump on sunny days. A crew of local Maya men work long hours there every day on various projects. I like it at the Rancho and have no plans to leave.

The rancho is into permaculture. Instead of telling you about that subject, in future Newsletters I'll show it to you.

For example, on a recent morning, so early that the morning mist hand't burnt off, Carlos and Gener were found mixing up a solution to be sprayed on the organically grown papaya, the solution made of permaculture-acceptable ingredients (Bordeaux solution based on copper sulphate, plus some natural nutrients), as shown at http://www.backyardnature.net/n/16/160904g1.jpg

Carlos, in red shorts, is a freshly minted engineer specializing in permaculture, brought here by Lee from Puebla, to start several projects and teach the staff. Gener is a local Maya fellow with limited schooling actually doing chemistry, weighing compounds from bags and mixing them according to a recipe in a permaculture book open on the table. Carlos now has returned to Puebla, so now Gener brings out the book and mixes solutions on his own now.

At http://www.backyardnature.net/n/16/160904g4.jpg you see a view of the same place, from the other side.

At http://www.backyardnature.net/n/16/160904g5.jpg, Carlos is preparing breakfast.

At http://www.backyardnature.net/n/16/160904g3.jpg you see a typical planting, of some Moringa trees.

More on all that later. Must be very brief. My computer has collapsed and now I'm trying to use a friend's Apple platform, and a keyboard that often stops working. It's all part of an evolutionary process I tell myself, and am enjoying starting over from scratch.

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GUERRILLA PHILOSOPHY, GUERRILLA SPIRITUALITY
The other day someone used the term "guerrilla advertising" in my presence. I don't know what they meant, but the mere term tickled me.

For, it got me to thinking about "guerrilla philosophy," and "guerrilla spirituality," at this very time when I'm transitioning into a new life.

To me, anything that's done guerrilla-wise is something where the perpetrators know that they're outnumbered and out-gunned, maybe so laughably so that the probability of defeat is no less certain than the probability for being laughed at, as being so out of touch with reality that opposition is ridiculous.

But, the true guerrilla persists, if he or she feels that it's called for, and often performs not only surprisingly effectively, but also the thing done is done with flair: Attacking not only with eyes fixed steadily on the the enemy, but also with a red silk scarf tied roguishly around the neck.

At Lee's rancho in the woods I'm invited to stay for free in a very pleasant stone building with a smooth concrete floor, with running water, solar-panel electricity, and a kitchen with gas burners handy, but somehow I'm gravitating toward the idea of cleaning out one of Lee's old, abandoned, van-like cars with Alberta license plates, pulling it to the end of one of the trails through the woods, and sleeping there. Maybe next to it put up a tin roof on four poles as I did as a hermit in Mississippi all those years, and cook meals on an elevated campfire -- a campfire in a sandbox on legs. Then I'll tell the world about it, and brag about my meals, and how I sit there mornings watching birds come look at me, and I'll tell everyone willing to listen what I'm thinking.

To me, that's living philosophy guerrilla style. It's putting myself into a spiritual context I feel good about, guerrilla style. It's being an old man sleeping in an abandoned car at the end of a road in somebody's woods, thumbing his nose at the enemy, the Dominant Paradigm of mindless consumption, and, I hope, doing it with panache -- not with a red silk scarf around my neck, but with garden dirt beneath my nails, and fingertips fragrant with cilantro.

*****

Best wishes to all Newsletter readers,

Jim

All previous Newsletters are archived at http://www.backyardnature.net/n/.