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LeighT
hi

hi,

seems i neglected to do this 'hello' before joining conversations. apologies.

briefly here, i've helped in organizing around various issues since grade 8, thru highschool, and in the early '80's while at McGill went to that big peace march in NYC.  lots of other work since, around various justice/economic/environmental issues.  have spent a fair bit of time in recent years growing food organically.

really appreciate babble for the opportunity it provides for people to work through issues, though it is difficult when people don't really know who we're all talking with.  i understand the need for anonymity for some too though.   i may turn to that approach too, but at present i use my real name, which is Leigh.  I was named after a stove.  no kidding.  my mother after graduating and working for a few years was fired for getting pregnant with my older brother.  she spent much time after that with her trusty work parter, a stove whose manufacturers name was at eye level on the vent hood- Leigh.  she laughs when i run this by her, so i know its true. 

in any case, greetings to you all.

hope i posted this to the correct spot in babble, learning here...

 

 

Unionist

LeighT wrote:

I was named after a stove.  no kidding.

Cool! What a coincidence! I was named after a piece of plumbing.

Welcome to babble, Leigh. I've enjoyed your posts to date.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 Welcome! 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Welcome.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
Our Demands Most Moderate are/
We Only Want The World!
-James Connolly

LeighT

thank you! babblers are a warm-hearted bunch.

LeighT

hi again, just some reflections, which probably function as a bit more of an 'introduction' than anything else...

*** 

reflections on a ‘primitive’ culture:

After the last ice age, nomadic tribes settled and eventually developed the Trypyllian culture in Ukraine, circa 5000 BCE. This culture lasted for 2000 years. Diets were primarily grain and vegetable-based, homes were made of woven (wattle) osiers around oak posts, thickly plastered in clay, with thatched roofs. A central clay oven for cooking and heating, with built-in bed, took up a fifth of the interior space. Homes clustered in villages around a central well; each had a vegetable garden. Crop fields surrounded the village. Stone refuges on the high places provided multi-village mutual defense. Beautiful pottery featured the swirling spirals, rhythms, patterns and creatures of life. 

In women-centred clans, decisions were worked out informally in day-to-day interactions around food growing, processing, washing, weaving, embroidery, tool-making, and around cultural celebrations, art, music, and dance. People considered themselves, and lived, as part of natural cycles where ‘spirit’ and ‘matter’ were one and the same.

Conflicts were resolved through discussion (endless!) amongst families, neighbours, and between villages. In difficult situations, circle gatherings/ meetings were held. Everyone had opportunity to speak. Final decisions were determined by the ‘sense of the meeting’ or in after-discussion and further meetings. Trade was actually trade.

In some parts of the world, and amongst diaspora, some of these ancient patterns have continued, though they are constantly under attack.

My paternal grandmother had helped build her family home in western Ukraine, a woven osier and clay, thatched structure. In Canada she continued to grow her own vegetables and herbs, storing and processing them.  As grandchildren, we experienced many threads of culture in our family and community life.

She’s gone now, but I’ve kept many of her seeds. In fact, I’ve kept them growing for many years now, and more than a few activists have helped me in past harvests, (especially appreciated with the potatoes and beans!). We’ve done labour and produce exchanges, with conversation, cooking and music for good measure. There’s lots of value, but no money in these exchanges. One big problem in recent years has been transportation- there is no public transportation here and fewer can afford the vehicle/ insurance/maintenance/gas scene. Also problematic, for me, are rising home/farm insurance, rising utility and other fees, and dwindling external income sources. As with other ‘primitive’ values, the small farm is at risk of becoming a disappearing species.

I’d get a decent dollar for it. My family built the home. This one has very thick log walls, and a heavily insulated roof. Facing south, an external heat sink produces all the warmth needed on sunny days, even in winter. Wind power would do well here, but is too expensive. We need to convince the provinces and feds to cough up some serious public production and grid solutions, to employ laid off workers and abundant renewable resources. Incidentally, the neighbour’s groundsource heat pump keeps their place at 60 degrees year round; south windows and an occasional fire do the rest.

There are options. I suppose the place could be rented to organically-minded folk. Hauling out the canoe, toboggan, canvas tent and snowshoes could allow for an extended or permanent nomadic paddle-and-walkabout. (If you know of a good portable water filter that deals with radioactivity, please share.) I’ll keep you posted. Someone’s bound to have an internet connection along the way.

Wilf Day

Hello, Leigh, I missed your earlier introduction. Belated welcome to babble.

Your Ukrainian references make me even more convinced of the parallels between Ukraine and Ireland.

LeighT

thanks Wilf, and it's good to see all your ongoing work with prop. rep.

 

ennir

Hello.

My great-grandparents immigrated from the Ukraine and settled in the Pine River area of Manitoba a hundred years and some ago but I never knew them.  My grandmother told me that my great-grandmother never wanted to immigrate.  She loved her community there, was a mid-wife and elder in church, and although my grandmother never said so, I don't think she was ever happy here.  It was my great-grandfather who wanted land.

 "In women-centred clans, decisions were worked out informally in day-to-day interactions around food growing, processing, washing, weaving, embroidery, tool-making, and around cultural celebrations, art, music, and dance. People considered themselves, and lived, as part of natural cycles where ‘spirit’ and ‘matter’ were one and the same."

I have been thinking about this lately, it seems to me that more and more we are living "out of time", as in the experience of being disconnected from the oneness of "spirit and matter."  

I think we desperately need to find our way back to that connectedness but perhaps it is just that I have been in the city too long.

I look forward to reading your posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LeighT

thanks ennir for your reflections, and though i'm new too here, i can welcome you as well.

in Ukraine the conditions got much worse after the time your great-grandparents left.   my Baba, as we knew her, lost all her older siblings, but one, to Lenin's ravages.  she lost her first born child to typhoid fever, the poverty was horrendous.  I still don't know what happened to her parents, and neither does my dad, she refused to talk about many things.

i think it was a combination of her own trauma, not wanting to burden the next generations, and sincere fear for other relatives still living there.  shes was a tough lady though.  and an amazing cook.  but almost completely illiterate, even in her own language.

in any case, i'm just piecing a lot of it together now.  not an easy or pleasant task, and there are few written records, the family was poor and under constant occupation.

i appreciate your interest and shared stories, ennir, and am looking forward to your input as well.

 

 

  

 

 

ennir

Thank you Leigh.

For many years my grandmother would not speak about her family, she was sent away at 15 to be a maid, she said the money was essential to help feed her younger brothers. I gathered from her that she was discriminated against and when she  married my grandfather who was Scottish, she too became Scottish.

The only indication I had as a child of my Ukrainian roots were the cabbage rolls that arrived with every visit, but I didn't know until I was older that they were Ukrainian.

It was a family secret that no-one bothered to tell me was a secret, as a teenager I stayed with my mother's aunt, she decided it would be great to set me up on a date, apparently I mentioned the U word and my aunt quit speaking to me for 16 years! 

Towards the end of her life my grandmother shared more stories with me, both of her parents had lost their families to smallpox.  Her father was a woodsman and a bear hunter and one day she came home from school and thought she heard babies crying but it was three baby bears, it was spring and the mother had come roaring out of the bush and he shot her.  Her brothers taught the bears tricks and eventually they went to a zoo, actually thinking about that now it is probably another version of we sent the puppy to the farm.

Some years ago there was a travelling exhibit of 500 years of art from the Ukraine.  I wonder if you saw it?  It was fabulous.