Truth and Reconciliation on the Canadian Farm

Because this is a country built around a mix of public and private property, and built especially upon long-distance communication from across the continent and the oceans, the dominance of transportation ensures that the private, and beautiful, can only be looked at through the elite industrial metaphors. They are the country. In such circumstances, our private lives are constrained by the equivalent of the power, television and telecommunication wires below and there are few chances to live outside of the patterns they set. Most are called art, as perhaps the image below is as well.

Whatever else can be said, the expense that goes into maintaining the dominant passage of lines of communication is astonishing, not to mention blocking or aligning private access. Meanwhile, in the October sun, the starlings, an invasive species just as we are, take a break from raiding the (invasive and private) vineyards to stare at the sun.


Among humans in Canada, notions of private rights to the earth are based on the English model, as rights to one’s labour. Otherwise, the argument goes, one is a slave. I dunno. I’d say it’s possible to move through these spaces with more dignity and purpose than ownership can muster. When land is used to grow crops only for use as symbols of fruitfulness, in place of growing food, no work is being done. In such cases, the very idea of private ownership is a trespass.

Living in the gaps between moments of human thought is not slavery.

It is a sign of a free people that they can allow such passage, understanding it as a cost paid to the Earth for what amounts to the same temporary use, and measuring wealth by this negation of trespass.



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