small hinges

Paul has been scolding me the last couple days. He wants me to tell you more about all the progress at Estrella Vista. I don’t blame him. He’s excited. When the reverse osmosis water filter arrived yesterday, you’d have thought it was Christmas.

A lot of supplies have been arriving here, day after day, to help move us forward in our vision for survival through the coming times of trial.

Paul’s right. As evidenced by our new charge controller for the windpower and solar generators, a lot of small positive steps have been taken here. This report is a little overdue.

As I reported on Saturday in “fingers crossed,” we have been fabricating the new greenhouse as the weather permits. Saturday, for example, was a beautiful sunny day once the fog burned off—but it was too windy to install the plastic membrane on the PVC ribs of the greenhouse.

Paul was crestfallen, saying: “This place is forcing me to learn patience.” I did get a gamely chuckle from him when I said that at least I could get back to my rockwork. “The rocks won’t blow away.”

On Monday there was a lull in the winds, so Paul and I dashed to complete the fabric installation. We got one large panel installed before the winds came up again, making it impossible to finish. Only one panel remains—maddeningly, the smallest and easiest to install.

As the greenhouse project moves forward in fits and starts, Paul and I occupy ourselves with other projects. Paul has been fabricating his hydroponic equipment (and now has the reverse osmosis system to play with) and I have been working on my stonework.

This is what has been keeping me busy on the warm beautiful days: a stone patio on the east side of the house, with adjoining walkways to now-nonexistent structures (an octagon kitchen and round dining deck).

I have always enjoyed working with stones, and I find myself surrounded by an infinite supply of material. The work is slow-going, as each stone must be located and gathered, brought to the site, fitted into the emerging jigsaw puzzle, and individually cut into the ground and leveled. When I began this project I was satisfied if I got three stones into the ground in a day. Now I believe I am up to about five or six. And many days, of course, stones are not being put into the ground at all.

Yesterday spring suddenly turned into winter, and even the rock work had to come to a stop.


It is from projects like this that I have always derived the greatest satisfaction in watching a vision, at first seen in a flash, slowly materially unfold in time and space. The serpentine line of narrow stones marks the presence of an underground water line that Paul has dowsed. Earth energy revealed.

The vision emerges stone by stone. Steadily, relentlessly, it appears. If there are times of no money and other construction comes to a halt, this stonework will continue on. We are, as I’ve said, surrounded by an abundance of free building material.

I value this project because it is teaching me patience and the pleasure of finding gratification in small things. It also provides me a way to set a good example.

An expression I’m fond of is: “The big things in life swing on small hinges.”

Paul has big visions of things he wants to accomplish. He has a vision of natural healing and age reversal which requires a doubling or more of atmospheric pressure. It has taken him years to acquire the hyperbaric equipment and he is almost ready to begin his experiments.

He has a vision of being able to feed hundreds of people a day growing food on the desert. Paul knows what he’s talking about. He grew up on a farm and his biological dad is a soil scientist. The vision is emerging from his genes and experience. As with our stone patio, it is revealing itself part by part as Paul assembles his hydroponic equipment.

He has a vision of building a gyrocopter which combines all the advantages of a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter (and none of the disadvantages of either) with mechanical simplicity, fuel efficiency, speed, range, and safety. It would put us within hours of just about anywhere we’d want to go.

All these visions have many small parts and hinges, and I am encouraging Paul to accomplish as much as he can each day with whatever resources he has at hand. Even if we don’t have all the resources we’d like, we must soldier on. We are in a race against time and events.

The world as we know it is disintegrating. Warren Buffet’s longtime partner Charlie Munger has reportedly said American capitalism is on its last legs. Eighty percent of Americans think our government is broken beyond repair. Forty-one states will be financially broke by the end of this year. Alan Greenspan has said we are experiencing the worst financial crisis “ever.” All the infrastructure upon which our society has come to rely looks like it’s about to fly apart.

Only the clever, self-reliant, and strong will survive the coming tribulations. But these qualities alone will not be enough.

Vision is required—a vision encompassing human purpose and morality and an ethic for daily living which is harmonious with the tides of energy and change. “Without vision the people will perish.”

Stone by stone, gadget by gadget, day upon day, a positive and regenerative vision is emerging here.

Whether our vision will deliver on its promises only time will tell. Yet we continue to serve the vision and are helping it to manifest here in the faith that it will.


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