Ten Commandments of Twisted Vine

The lawn growing in

This New Years eve marked one decade of living here on our 10.6 acre slice of mountain. We rung it in with close friends and there has been much reflection on the changes that have happened here- from a broom-filled mountainside, to the beautiful welcoming homestead it is now. I would like to share some of the songs/poems/commandments written in commemoration of Twisted Vine farm.

A Brief History

Ten Commandments of Twisted Vine (by David Minkow)

l. Thou shalt have no other goods before us that aren’t homemade, local, second-hand, fair trade… or gotten for a really great price.

ll. Thous shalt not make unto thee any graven image (or gravenstien apple sauce) until the Air B&B page has been checked and the WWoofers given their assignments for the day.

lll. Thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy god in vain, unless a bungee cord is attached to your scrotum, or the scrotum of someone you love.

lV. Remember the Sabbath jam, to keep it holy; it gets you off the hook for having the chutzpah to pronounce the twisty Jewish Sabbath bread like it’s what Muslims are allowed to cosume under Islamic dietary law. (It’s challah!!)

V. Honor thy father and thy mother with clean sheets in the poptop and fresh shavings in the loo.

Vl. Thou shalt not kill… until you have a good story to tell the kids about what happened to what they thought were pets.

Vll. Though shalt not commit upholstery, when a blanket will do.

Vlll. Though shalt not steal licks- until you have the new lyrics ready.

lX. Though shalt not falsely witness bears at thy neighbours, unless they show up drunk at a house concert and don’t pay.

X. Though shalt not covet thy neighbour’s knife- just ask Zane to make you one.

Challah braid

Last Minute Reflections on a Decade Here –   by Zane Parker

Sometimes in life we seize the moment-

make things happen: a new life, a new community, a new direction

New Year’s brings the push and expectation of resolve

the hope of coming more fully into ourselves

Other moments in life, we are swept along,

as in a current- we may cling to the shore,

or the seeming stability of an outcropping, but the flow is relentless

will not rest, will carry us downstream like a tumbled river rock.

A decade ago we answered some kind of pull, each in our own way,

carried up and over the Malahat, trailer in tow- a rainy

and treacherous night, with no looking back.

Just the excitement of arrival, the expanse of possibility and

the certainty that life was firmly on a new footing–

as simple as pissing on a cold and starry night.

There is too much to trace the path this life has offered–

too many half crazy stories of falling trees and building homes…

but the urge to memorialize, to mythologize– our story,

co-created and held now, in all it’s perspectives, among those

gathered here this evening, and hundreds more.

I can say that the early deprivations were invigorating– crawling into a cold bed

after a day cutting broom in the rain; cooking in a truly outdoor kitchen;

scraping together the materials, resources, and skills to build homes

after the satisfaction of that first biffy, built that first morning–

the biology of life asserting it’s own priority.

And if work and exertion have been the practice of these years,

then family has been the cord holding it all together. Zylo learning

to walk among the tangled brambles of these slopes and the other boys,

coming apace, according to their own schedules, born of this land,

binding us more than ever to our small valley home.

And like any strong current, as it descends into more gentle slopes,

the thread of these years, and of our stories, has meandered apart,

and joined up with other stories– we can only follow our truth, adapt, rebuild,

and move forward into the next decade, always coming back to fire, food, and song

to the bond of shared accomplishment and to the memory of how we have come

to be here, in this very moment, the

culmination of our lives, so far.

1st Shabbat in the house


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