Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When Things Get Quiet

A couple days ago my vacuum cleaner decided not to work anymore. Yesterday, my refrigerator quit.

Here is what I thought as I swept my floors and contemplated a fridge-free life: I could get used to this.

Late this afternoon, the power went out in my neighborhood. For about 30 minutes, everything inside and out was so very quiet.

I am re-reading Derrick Jensen's Endgame, the two-part, thousand-page exploration of civilization and its ravages.

Here is what I thought as I sat in the stillness, with the afternoon sun on the pages of my book: I could get used to this.

And: I will probably have to.

And: one way or another, it will be okay.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Who's Your Tribe?

My tribe is a question, an open door.

My tribe is a story. We are all stories. We tell and tell again.

My tribe is discernment. We wonder what belongs. (Do I? Do you?) We ask what helps, what hurts. (Do you? Do I?)

My tribe is a path, a line of desire. So many desires. So many paths entwined.

My tribe is holy. (Everything is holy.)

Are you in?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Co-Housing - Why is it "Left"?

(cross-posted from Over the Wall)

The Rag Blog has re-posted a piece from the New York Times about co-housing that makes the idea sound positively... mainstream.

“For a long time we’d always be referred to as ‘communes for the ’90s’ or ‘the new commune,’ ” said Mr. Ragland of the Cohousing Association. “But increasingly people are seeing that it’s really just a new type of neighborhood.”

The piece is a snapshop, a brief examination of what co-housing is and why it may be appealing -- or not. (Pets are an issue. Surprise.) But what caught my eye was the headline:

"To Your Left, a Better Way of Life?"

So... Neighborly interaction, a village-like setting, kids playing outside, these represent a leftist agenda?

Maybe it was the idea of communal kitchens and gathering spaces. Because we all know that only liberals like to cook together and hang out together. Or maybe it was the decision-making process, which in some communities is based on consensus. Because we know that only liberals like to have their concerns, desires and opinions taken into account before critical decisions affecting their daily lives are made.

Co-housing seeks to ameliorate the atomization of contemporary, post-industrial culture by creating -- or re-creating -- functional, human-scale neighborhoods. To characterize this as leftist is to misrepresent what is at root a basic human desire for interaction and socially-satisfying living arrangements. In fact, the article's author, Chris Colin -- who is presumably not responsible for the headline -- made mention of the "Norman Rockwellian" appeal of these communities.

And we all know what a Red he was.