Last Wednesday evening, we gathered in the REEP House again for our monthly movie night, designed to help us have the tools necessary to create change in our community. We watched Dirt! The Movie, which brought us around the world to discover why dirt is important, what’s associated with that word, and how it helps us. Jon, the facilitator for this event, asked us to think about all the definitions of dirt that are present in the movie. The movie is full of information and presents so many perspectives on dirt, but it’s not that controversial or instigating – it’s just happy and agreeable. I liked Jon’s exercise, so I kept note of all the definitions I came up with during the movie:
From the stars, five elements, alive, the skin of the earth, first 5cm layer on top of the earth, stuff that you wash off your cars and driveway, kids play in the dirt, decomposition, consists of Myecilium, exists in the city, from garbage to garden, cleans water, the sacred mother, the source of all fertility, has its own flavour profile, building material, sacred, cleansing, connection, producer of timber or coal or oil, the extractive economy, energy source, spiritual and psychological healer, metaphor for how we live life….
And the list really could go on. What do you think of when you think of the word “dirt”? Leave a comment below. There are a lot of negative associations in society for dirt, but how did that start, if dirt is really the source of all life? I think it’s this attitude of seeing ourselves as separate from the worms and decomposition and dirt that leads us to our current extractive economy.
One of the quotes from the movie that I really enjoyed was “If each organism on the planet had one vote, humans would be voted off he planet”. It’s the truth! The movie clearly had its moments of showing humans how awful humans can be, but then it ended positively of course, with showing us all the wonderful things we can do, as well as how those things can help us too. The “I will be a hummingbird – I will do the best I can” is beautiful, and one that should be shared with friends, family, and children.
We ended the movie night with discussing the things we can do here in KW to help dirt out – here are some organizations and links (this is in no way exhaustive! comment below to add more):
Bailey’s Local Foods – local food buying co-op
Fertile Ground – Community Shared Agriculture – buy food there and/or volunteer and get your hands dirty!
Waterloo Horticultural Society – garden and share
Little City Farm – a local urban homestead which offers course and tours