The road and home

June 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

I don’t really understand how people who have blogs keep writing on them regularly and still do all their life things. Maybe this month has been unusually nuts – I was in Maine, Philly, D.C., San Francisco, and LA all in one week. Really I have been on the road for a month. I feel that already I have become a tender country person for whom cities feel incredibly loud and bright and expensive. I got home yesterday, and when I pulled up to our house I could see a big imaginary throbbing heart hanging over it with a banner that said HOME. Seriously.

I took a very visit-intensive road trip down to D.C. to give a workshop about the nonprofit industrial complex for a group of young people who work for nonprofits, and on the way I stopped in upstate New York to visit my friends’ amazing cohousing community that they recently founded after years of collective process and preparation. It has multiple apartments, a big circular garden in the shared yard, a fire pit, and kind and friendly neighbors who run a home business making raw kale chips that are incredibly delicious. It is so heartening to be there. At the same time as I know and feel that building community across difference – especially race and class and other kinds of differences that have to do with oppression – can be so hard and painful and challenging, it feels like probably the most important thing to me. These friends are grappling with the things that take up the most space in my brain – how to share resources collectively in intimate ways, how to build interdependent community, how to reinvent family and caregiving relationships, how to do these things in really diverse communities that require confronting racism and other violences and internalized oppressions in our relationships every day. I’ve been turning my visit there over and over in my head, coming back to this community and these friendships when I think about what I am wanting to create in my life now.

In D.C. I slept on the roof of a collective house in Takoma Park inhabited by some very sweet people who were so earnest that they asked me if we could have a facilitated dinner discussion about classism while I was there, and we totally did and it was totally deep. I slept on their roof looking up at the stars (or, at least, the night sky illuminated by the moon/ambient city lights), and had some very good conversations about collective living, anticapitalism, and facilitation.

And I stopped in Philly! And dear west Philadelphia, I love you so. I wasn’t sure how to do this visiting-Philly thing, but I think the protocol must be that I make no plans in advance, and just organically run into everyone I know by walking up and down Baltimore Avenue and going to the park and the co-op. It worked well this time, and I love west Philly for that. It was so sunny and warm and beautiful and heartbreakingly tender, and even though I am so happy that I moved to Maine I miss Philly so much. It’s bittersweet.

But even these things that I just wrote about feel like they happened so long ago, because since then I have been back home and left again, to L.A. and a southern California mountaintop and the bay area, and I will have to write about those things in my next post because they are so big I don’t even know how to start. I’m gonna do a little resting and recovering first. For now I am feeling tired and awestruck and so, so grateful.

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