El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

jueves, 8 de marzo de 2012

Williams Powers en la cabaña 12 x 12 de la Dra. Jackie Benton

Powers is a noted American writer and conservationist.

William Powers es oriundo de Long Island, Nueva York y ha trabajado durante más de una década en la ayuda al desarrollo y la conservación en América Latina, África, Washington, DC, y los nativos de América del Norte. De 2002 a 2004 dirigió los componentes de la comunidad de un proyecto en la Amazonia boliviana, que ganó un premio de 2003 para la innovación ambiental de la Escuela John F. Kennedy de Harvard de Gobierno. Sus ensayos y comentarios sobre temas globales han aparecido en el New York Times y el International Herald Tribune , y en la National Public Radio. El Ing. Powers ha trabajado en el Banco Mundial, y es licenciado en relaciones internacionales de la Universidad de Brown y la Escuela de Georgetown de Servicio Exterior. El beneficiario 2004-2005 de la Fundación Puerta Abierta para la no-ficción, él es el autor de las memorias de Liberia personas arcilla azul, la memoria de Bolivia susurra en el oído de los Gigantes y las memorias de la vida "fuera de la red-" en un período de doce pies cuadrados de cabina Twelve by Twelve: Una cabaña de una sola habitación en la Red y más allá del sueño americano. En la actualidad es sede en Nueva York, y es escritor independiente, conferencista y miembro senior del World Policy Institute

Returning to the U.S. after a decade of aid work, William Powers finds himself in the heart of the world's richest nation, but living a subsistence life.

Recycle this book
Memoir offers a glimpse at an eco-friendly lifestyle
By Stephan Delbos - Staff Write

(...) On July 4, 1845, a young, Harvard-educated Massachusetts man named Henry Thoreau decided to build himself a cabin in the woods surrounding Walden Pond. The environmental movement would never be the same.

All told, Thoreau spent two years, two months and two days living in his cabin and later immortalized the experience in Walden, or Life in the Woods, a book that has become a classic among green-minded folks and nature lovers, including William Powers, the writer and conservationist whose memoir, Twelve by Twelve, recounts the 40 days he spent in a 12-by-12-foot cabin without electricity or running water.

The cabin is owned by Dr. Jackie Benton, a successful physician who has chosen to pursue a simple, relatively noninvasive way of life, cultivating a permaculture farm on her small plot of land. Benton has lowered her annual income to $11,000, below the tax line, "so as to avoid war taxes."

When the good doctor leaves town temporarily, she suggests Powers try her lifestyle, an invitation he takes up with some hesitation. Thus begins the skillfully wrought narrative of Powers' experience of getting back to the basics.

Powers - who has worked as a conservationist in Latin America and Africa and recounted those experiences in two well-received books, Blue Clay People and Whispering in the Giant's Ear, weaves an engrossing story. Twelve by Twelve develops along several lines at once: Powers' experience going without the usual amenities, the racial tensions between his white neighbors and the Mexican immigrants living nearby in housing provided by the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, and a blossoming relationship between himself and a like-minded young woman.

Powers never loses sight of the larger causes and effects of green living or the industrial monolith conservationists are up against. The writer only goes awry when he doesn't trust the depth of his experience, instead slipping into philosophical quotes in cloying attempts at armchair profundity.

"As [Jackie] told me about the teas she grew, about her homemade jams and boysenberry wines, about the shiitakes she'd planted on a pile of logs, about the rainwater she harvested, I thought of something from Nietzsche: 'How little suffices for happiness! ? the least thing makes up the best happiness.' All of these tiny things - a bee, a creek, a tea bush - were causing me to loosen up, relax, and feel joy rush through me, the asphalt inside me beginning to crack."

Despite Powers' impressive power of recall and his skill as a writer, one can't help but somewhat doubt the efficacy of his campaign, especially when considering that he only spent 40 days in the woods. A book, even one printed on 100 percent post-consumer-waste recycled paper like this one, is not likely to stem the tide of greenhouse gas emissions, over-production and consumption that has flooded the Western world for more than a century. If the writer of that book is only willing to give up his usual way of life for slightly longer than a month, there is little hope for the rest of us. But perhaps that's not the point.

Living "off the grid" has been a popular concept in the United States at least since the 1960s, but most attempts at doing so have failed miserably. Twelve by Twelve is not a guide, however, and Powers is largely successful because he avoids didacticism.

Twelve by Twelve is a glimpse into one man's short experience living an alternative lifestyle. The most moving passages in the book - which involve Powers' estranged Bolivian wife and daughter - convey the sense that Powers' experience has broken a crack in the facade, as it were. There are other ways of life out there, and this book offers just a hint at those vast possibilities.

"I look down at my hands: Amaya holds one, Kusasu the other, the creative edge being born and dying as the Flat World crushes in on us from all sides. For a moment, it seems possible that if we find more hands to hold, we can walk with strength into the flattening world, planting seeds of the old cultures for the young to cultivate. Change is inevitable, but is there a way to change without destroying cultural and ecological diversity? If we connect to others who want this new paradigm shift, it might be possible to bend the Flat World in enough isolated places and communities that they eventually push out and touch at their fragile, diverse edges."

The back story to Thoreau's adventure is that the civilly disobedient landowner was never really on the verge of poverty or starvation and frequently made trips into town for supplies. Nonetheless, living more than 700 days in the woods, Thoreau developed a way of life worth exploring. William Powers has explored that way of life, and Twelve by Twelve offers, if not a solution to the ecological urgencies of our time, at least a map of sustainable possibilities.

Download Twelve by Twelve Press Release (PDF format)
Download Suggested Interview Questions (PDF format)
Download A Conversation with William Powers (PDF format)

Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream

Imagen del producto
It all begins with questions. How much is enough? What does it take to live harmoniously? What if one were less attached to things and more focused on rich relationships?

This Waldenesque memoir is perhaps, more than anything, an account of living these questions. At the intersection of lives, in this case that of the author, an international humanitarian aid worker, and the enigmatic Jackie Benton, a physician who is, among other things, a peace-maker, off the grid dweller, and wisdomkeeper, lies the opportunity to explore the essence of finding one's place in the world.

For all who desire to live as authentically as possible, this is a book that will cause you to examine not only what is most important in life, but also how to live in a way that is consistent with your highest ideals and values.

What is the right size of my life?

Dr. Jackie Benton

As a doctor, Jackie Benton could be making a salary in the high six figures. She could have any creature comfort she desires. Instead, Dr. Benton chooses to make $11,000 a year. She also chooses to live off the grid in a twelve foot by twelve foot cabin without electricity or running water. Why? We will return to that key question in a moment.

William Powers

Our author, William Powers, has just returned to the United States after a decade of humanitarian aid and conservation work in Africa and Latin America. At the moment, he is feeling a bit lost. Why? Ah... now we are moving toward the heart and soul of this book. Let's delve deeper.

Jackie Benton's Essential Question

Where do you grab the dragon's tail?

Returning to the "Why" of Jackie Benton

So why does Dr. Jackie Benton live as she does? As one who values peace, Benton has made a conscious decision to take a stand against war. This is one reason why she chooses to accept a salary far below the standard for physicians. By making $11,000 a year, Benton avoids paying taxes that support war.

In addition, by living in a structure that is twelve by twelve, Jackie Benton is able to live according to her off the grid values. In the state of North Carolina, where she resides, more stringent zoning laws and restrictions do not apply to structures 12 by 12 or smaller. This enables Benton to forego any requirements for standard utilities such as connection to the power grid, the required installation of plumbing, and so on. There is more to it than this, but let's not spoil it for potential readers by revealing all the details of the book.

William Powers' Creed

We can learn to live in harmony with each other and nature.

Reverse Culture Shock

And now we return to our author, William Powers, who finds himself totally unsettled upon his arrival back in the US. Why this state of unrest?

Powers is feeling a deep sense of disillusionment and he realizes that his creed is at a critical testing point. Though he feels his international efforts of addressing poverty and protecting the world's rainforests have made a difference, it is the bigger picture of destructive global practices that is causing a real sense of despair.

It is at this moment of ever deepening despondency that Powers becomes aware of Jackie Benton through a casual conversation with his mother. Thus begins a quest to tap into the wisdom of a woman who seemingly has found the answers to the questions that are haunting Powers.

Powers asks Benton...

What is the answer? Where do you grab the dragon's tail?

The Twelve By Twelve Odyssey Begins

Upon meeting Jackie Benton for the first time, William Powers finds her to be a unique mix of science (the doctor side of her) and spirituality (her wisdomkeeper nature).

In the Native American culture, a wisdomkeeper is a female elder who inspires others to dig more deeply into life. Instead of providing answers, wisdomkeepers instigate a drawing out whereby individuals find their own way to the answers that lie within.

Powers will come to experience Benton's approach to mindfulness and growth through the quotations that she posts daily, through a Socratic pursuit of questions, and through the letters they exchange over the course of 18 months.

The Dragon's Tail

I think you should grab it where the suffering grabs you the most.
~ Benton answers Powers

Mindful - Mary Oliver

Why I Wake Early: New Poems

"It was what
I was born for —
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world...

Powers is invited to spend time alone at Jackie Benton's twelve by twelve home while she travels on a peace mission. Tucked into the invitation is a poem, Mindful, by Mary Oliver, that leaves Powers with no doubt about what his decision will be. It is during this season of reflection and immersion into "the soft world" that Powers begins a powerful transformation.

Living Twelve By Twelve

Living close to nature on Benton's permaculture acres, and interacting with Jackie's diverse neighbors - which include a Mexican furniture craftsman, biofuel producers, homesteaders, and organic farmers - Powers discovers new elements of community and sustainability, while gaining insight into how to attain personal happiness and make contributions to global healing.

Permaculture is a holistic approach to agriculture and gardening that incorporates methods of working with nature instead of against nature. Check the links and related books section of this web page for resources and more information.

Nietzsche Quotation

How little suffices for happiness!...
the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing,
the lightest thing...

Twelve By Twelve - Book Trailer

Billpowersbooks | video info
William Powers - Blog Link

No hay comentarios: