Posts tagged “Puerto Rico

ROAST LOG (#2)

Batch 1.
 Bottoms out at 213
 FC@ 380, 13:44
 Pull at 402, 17:30
 Rd is 3 min 50 sec
 Too long a roast! Next time open cyclone, close airflow. Appearance: average SF
 roast. Tastes like it too, although slightly bitter, not as exciting.
Batch 2.
 Bottoms at 213, 1:55
 Open cyclone was bad choice! Beans lost.
 FC@ 381, 11:49, opened air a bit more to prolong RD.
 Pull at 402, 14:53
 Unbelievable. Lost half batch?
 Better timing. Stick with orig plan. First roast always long?
 Look good. Taste more exciting. Only slight, slight bitter trace.
Batch 3.
 Bottoms at 207, 2:03
 Cyclone half, air duct open so you can hear.
 Bread strong at 346, 9:40
 FC@ 380, 13:00
 Air already flowing a bit. Left as is.
 Pull at 403, 16:29
 Look good, taste pretty good; sugars, oils, acids could be better.
Batch 4.
 Leaving bean gate closed cyclone at half. Hoping for shorter roast time with no
 negative effects.
 Bottoms at 203, 2:14 (forgot to raise heat after dumping last batch.)
 FC@ 383, 12:17
 Pull at 402, 15:08
 Slightly light for profile, but look good. Taste great. Lasting, sweet, have good 
 crack of flavor to them.
Batch 5.
 Keeping bean gate closed, cyclone at half.
 Bottoms at 211, 1:25
 FC@ 382, 12:05
 Pull at 403, 15:16
 Got it.
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BEING SHAPED BY WILDERNESS (9/5/14)

Is I. Is complicity shedding
First felt as anxiousness. Recoil.
But now welcome absence.

Absence welcome. Beheld in common with few.
Compañero? Drink of this cup? De café.

Cultivated in difficult/ path/ building.
In rest broken (awake?) as unknown
Sniffs, examines and scrapes
Intruder/ or venturer/ who takes nights away.

Though unnecessary by some measure
Still nights/ unstill nights, a/way are chosen.


Becoming Part of the Solution

-or-

We Aren’t Going to Pull Ourselves from this Mess

 Theory

There is much struggle and weariness amongst those who desire and endeavor to do right in this world. Feelings of exhaustion, hopelessness and cynicism are not at all uncommon. Many, conscious of their potential, and subsequent responsibility, find themselves heavy laden with questions, doubts and pressures. The absence of easy answers looms. If those concerned with the plights of others don’t have simple solutions, what hope is there to be had?

 

Once again I repeat what I have said before. I feel deeply that we have very little conception of what the Church suffers from the lack of this divine humility, the nothingness that makes room for God to prove His power.” Andrew Murray: Humility

 

In our pursuit to fix things, we can effectively render ourselves impotent. How many persons with good intentions have perpetuated problems simply due to being in positions where they are too busy or stretched thin to identify root issues rather than mere palliative measures that will within time become problematic themselves.

 

This feedback cycle grows quickly and heavily. Is drawing away from society the solution? For an individual it may be, but the crux of the matter depends on whether such flight is escapism, or a way to be more intimately involved. Is it an end or a mean towards something better? Take Trappist monks for example. Although they are viewed as a prime example of a group of people disconnected from the world, it has been said that if the monks stopped praying, the world itself would stop spinning. They are actively involved in the matters of this world, whether it be through guidance and teaching, prayerful intercession, or even in simply displaying a more sustainable, virtuous model of living. In a previous post, I offered a brief text from an interview with some of these monks. Their answers show a simple, holistic understanding and comprehension of what is taking place in this world that we, being caught up in the disjointedness of contemporary affairs, all too often aren’t able to recognize. Television drivel, advertising and sensationalism are not healthy. There is nothing new under the sun. (https://tayreed.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/some-thoughts-from-trappist-monks/ )

 

Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex,
the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”  -Bill Mollison

 

Is it any wonder that the Christian life is so often feeble and fruitless, when the very root of the Christ life is neglected, is unknown? Is it any wonder that the joy of salvation is so little felt, when that in which Christ found it and brings it, is so little sought? Until a humility which will rest in nothing less that the end and death of self; which gives up all the honor of men as Jesus did, to seek the honor that comes from God alone: which absolutely makes and counts itself nothing, that God may be all, that the Lord alone may be exalted – until such a humility be what we seek in Christ above our chief joy, and welcome at any price, there is very little hope of a religion that will conquer the world.-Andrew Murray: Humility

 

What if these solutions require hard work? What if they necessitate a willingness to serve? To get dirty? To remain anonymous?

 

Is it worth it?

 

What if working hard brings about a greater gratitude and thankfulness for what we have. What if it promotes better discernment of what is necessary? What if service allows us to love others genuinely? What if our attempts to avoid these things has made us rather weak and selfish, and our lives fairly disconnected and aimless?

 

Before we offer can peace, we must first encounter it ourselves. And when we have found it, it’s what gives our actions meaning, otherwise we’re following the example of Paul’s early life: hard work and self-righteousness, although of no value or worth. Spinning and thrashing about without getting anywhere beneficial. Instead, let us take a better way-

 

And this is my prayer: that your love for one another may grow more and more with the knowledge and complete understanding that will help you to come to true discernment, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, entirely filled with the fruits of uprightness through Jesus Christ, for the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

 

 

Discerning right action before taking action isn’t an attempt to absolve responsibility, but rather view ourselves and that responsibility properly. We are caretakers. Everything before us has been provided. With this understanding we can work to return things to their intended state and flow, rather than impose our fallible wills and self-serving desires. We need to get involved, we need to “do”. But we must do so from the proper perspective- with something worth offering, and in the correct manner, which is from a position of genuine humility, both of which are things more connected to “being” than “doing”.

 

The Practical

I should: Identify a need. Work towards a solution. Allow God to work through me. Accept the fact that I am broken and fail time and time again. My deficiency, however, is opportunity for one more powerful to work despite me in ways beyond my understanding.

 

The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”  -Bill Mollison


P.R.

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“Be modest now, like a thing

ripened until it is real,

so that he who began it all

can feel you when he reaches for you.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ve been in Puerto Rico for just over two weeks now. It’s really been quite the experience. I’ve been living with family at Camp Caribe, and helping out where I’m able. This simply means doing dishes, giving drum lessons, raking, retrieving/ opening coconuts, painting and other things of the sort. I’ve had good conversations, good food and good times. I think my favorite  experience here would be that of evening walks and stillness… strolling along the beach, watching the sunset, and then heading to the top of a tall wooden structure to reflect, look out over this part of the island, watch the stars and listen to the waves- it’s wonderful.

I do think times of solitude and silence are my favorite times no matter where I am… They aren’t ends in and of themselves, however. The value that they offer comes through the peace, insight, clarity and atonement that are oftentimes found through them.

Today, my aunt and I were able to take a trip to Plenitud Eco-Initiatives. It’s a three acre farm and “non-profit organization that supports efforts in sustainable development by individuals and communities” (http://www.plenitudpr.org/sobre-plenitud.html). I sought to visit them back in September of 2010, but nothing came of it. It was great to finally get out there today. While visiting this area in central Puerto Rico’s mountain tropics, people are able to study different things such as permaculture, alternative building, and sustainability in a direct, personal, hands-on manner. While we both were able to check out other aspects of the farm, DeAnna ended up focusing on mulching a memorial garden in progress, while I helped with setting the foundation of an earthbag structure that will eventually serve as housing and a hurricane shelter. I found it to be very refreshing to be there and look forward to possibly spending more time with them.

I’m looking to spend the rest of March here at the camp. I’ve received an invitation to help out at a specialty coffee plantation in the mountains for the month of April. From what I know of Sandra Farms (http://www.sandrafarms.com/about.html), it seems to be a great opportunity to help some people work towards something that we both believe in- sustainable, fair-trade coffee production. Several times throughout my weeks here I’ve heard a statistic regarding what is imported to this island. I don’t remember exactly, but I believe that something like 86% of their food is brought in from outside. When you consider the resources available on this island and year-round growing conditions, that number is a clear indicator that something is awry. I hope to help support a more appropriate local model by getting involved with this Adjuntas mountain coffee company. I may spend the month there and try and get away to Plenitud for a weekend or week at some point.

And that’s as far as I go. I’m immensely thankful for what I have now. I hope that you are able to be grateful for what you have now as well, whatever season of life you may find yourself in.

Take care-

Taylor

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Embarkation

“Life is a succession of crises and moments when we have to rediscover who we are and what we really want.” -Jean Vanier

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Sailing off again…

I’ve come to a place where I think that it’s better for me to not continue to attend Spring Arbor University. This, of course, isn’t without mixed feelings. I’ve learned much while I’ve been here. I’m so thankful for the experiences and people that have led to that happening. I’ll miss much and for that reason will be leaving with a heavy heart. You guys really have been a blessing…  Students, professors, friends, people I’ve only recently met, don’t know too well or even just see around. Thank you..

God prepares us, teaches us and shapes us in varying ways and as unique individuals we have different roles that we are best suited to fill (1 Cor 12:12-27). When we find those thing that we’re passionate about, I think it’s our responsibility to chase after them and allow God to fully work through us. You find that wave and simply let it take you. If anyone is curious as far as where I see this wave possibly leading- just ask.

In regards to the post I wrote about staying not too long ago- I can honestly say that it wasn’t without reason that I stayed here until now rather than leaving a few weeks ago. I feel I’ve gotten the go ahead to “go well”. There are reasons why I want to go and reasons why I want to stay, but it simply seems I’m to leave at this point.

I’d like to ask a simple question to those I’ll be leaving behind (in presence). Actually, anyone reading this-

                                                         “Why are you here?”

     “Why have you been placed on this planet? Why are you living? Why are you doing what you do every day? Why are you saying what you say? Where is meaning found?” These are questions that have profoundly changed my perspective and I find that I daily need to reexamine myself in light of them.  Answer them every day and live accordingly. They cut to the core of our true beliefs and values (think Phaedrus, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).

Much like the past, I’m sure I’ll be updating this intermittently. If you’d like, feel free to subscribe at the bottom of the page.

I’ll be around for a few weeks and would love to take anyone out for coffee who’s interested. As usual, onward and upwards…

                                                               Much love,

                                                                                Taylor