I just spent three weeks at Keveral Farm–first working and then participating a Permaculture Design Certificate course. The teachers Klaudia van Gool, Bryn Thomas and Bill Knight were exceptional in their talents as sages of the earth and in their thoughtful teaching skills. This experience was trying nonetheless as the mixture of personalities, experiences and the eschewal of conflict through various exercises left me at times frustrated. After all, conflict is not purely and ontologically “negative”–it is a means to the creation of other points of stasis, of dialogue and of peace which in turn are likewise transformed with time. In short, this experience gave me some amazing skills and even more questions about the tendency to homogenize identity and to interpret happiness as one pure holistic entity. What I have learned in life and have had confirmed by this course is that identity is plural, that avoiding or repressing conflict (or the discussion thereof) often creates more conflict and that happiness is a state of being, not a tagline. I had fully enjoyed working with some amazingly loving people whose access to this space of peace is as unique as my own.