So there's this awesome thing that I started. I mean, I didn't start this whole thing, but I went full-tilt with it here in Halifax. It became a passion of mine, and I started to become a bit of a local expert in this field, and I felt confident and inspired and I felt like I was making a statement for change. This project got lots of attention, and folks got excited, and we got hands-on help from friends and acquaintances who also felt inspired, and we got news coverage, and keeners started emailing to ask "how can I?" and "how did you?" and "thank you" and "build one for me!", and at first I responded whole-heartedly to these emails with in-depth responses and excitement for the prospect of future collaborations, and mostly, excitement for this quiet revolution of healthier living for our planet and our families and our communities. And it felt so good.
And then it just all stopped.
I mean, the project continued. But I was no longer a part of it. And I still got (and still get) enthusiastic inquiries and friends on the street still sometimes asked about this project, or future projects, and I just deflected all these questions and ignored all these emails, and dissociated myself from this passion because I was no longer a part of the original project that got the ball rolling. And it was a sore spot.
You see, I started said project with my [now, ex] partner, and in the turmoil of our separation the lines of unity and division, and the desperate attempts to salvage a partnership became the priority - not the giant passion project in the backyard. And as emotional pain and difficult conversations gave way to arguments and irreparable damage there was less space available to even discuss the project as ours. It became a matter of ownership and property-rights, and it became his.
And that's OK. Now. I guess. You know...
But that blog post is still on this website, and I don't want to take it down, because it was a really meaningful thing to work on and be a part of, and I fucking loved that project! So, now, a little over a year later, I'm addressing the elephant on my blog, AND want to thank everyone who was interested and supportive. And I guess I want to give it a resting place in my life: consider this its living-funeral - I hope it's well. I don't know what the hempcrete house looks like now or how the finishing went, but I did learn a lot while I was a part of the designing and building. I learned a lot from the process of finding materials and getting permits to build with a "new" material. I learned a lot from working with my partner every day, and having to just keep at it every single day, and having tiny, awkward angles to tamp hempcrete into, and having a sore body, and having a giant, often stressful project in my life that was too cool to complain about. Thank you, hempcrete house for being the platform for those lessons, and for (hopefully) continuing to be a living, breathing structure where someone gets to live in a little more harmony with the Earth.
And if you're interested, you can read / watch about this project here and here.
Rest in Peace, Halifax Hemp-house. May your life be long and full of living, without me.
Kate Varsava is a Halifax, NS based lover of wit, whimsy, and word-play. Late-nights, mid-morning coffee, quiet meditations, and the elements of nature inspire her sentiments and observations.