I think I have it figured out. I’ve boiled life down to the most elemental action. As I see it now, life is basically an on-going series of moving objects around.
When you build a cob house, you move sand and clay and straw onto a tarp, or into a pit, and continue to move it around with your feet so that it’s mixed. Then you pick it up and move it onto the foundation (which may be a series of stones that you picked up and arranged on top of a drainage trench filled with gravel that you moved into place), and eventually, you get to a place where you might move wood around to form the shape of a roof. Of course the wood will need some work done to it, perhaps some joinery, which means you’ll be moving chunks of material out of the wood itself.
When you garden, you might start with moving soil to a specific place to make a garden bed, move some compost on top of that, maybe some mulch. You might start some seeds inside, move them into paper pots, wait till they get bigger, and move them outside. At the end of the season, you’ll have removed all of your vegetables from the plants, moved the dead or dying plants into a compost pile, and next year, you’ll start the whole process over again.
Firewood… find some wood, cut it and split it and move it, almost certainly more than once — move it into a shed to keep it dry, move it into your stove to burn it to keep yourself warm (when you’re sitting still and not moving). Oh, don’t forget to move the ashes out of the stove afterwards, so you have more room for wood.
Drawing and writing… move a pencil along the surface of a sheet of paper to transfer a mark. Cooking… combine different ingredients into a pan on the stove, or in the oven. Oh, and how far did those foods move to get to your kitchen and onto your plate?
You get the idea.
Some days, it feels like all I am doing is shuffling things around, moving one object from one location to the next. I guess it can have some sweet results, but moving stuff sure is a lot of work…