Thursday, June 29, 2006

questions on Community

Changes come
Turn my world around
Changes come
bring the whole thing down

-Over the Rhine

Yet another bigger transition is coming about in the CW community. I guess we all knew this was a'coming - with the end of the 'year' that I said I would be here - almost upon us. It is no fun here right now, though. But hasnt really been much fun for about 3 months now. Not that things should always be fun. No not at all.

However annoying and disconcerting new changes are, they do bring certain fresh possibilities to the fore - that i did not have much room to entertain before now. ... new questions arising from these shifts....such as:

1) What are the top 5 most important things that I want/need for my life out of living in community with others?
2) What is a sustainable and healthy way for me to live and be in community?
3) What would I do differently (based on the the current experience)? What would remain the same?
4) If I had a choice, who are the people in my life, or who i know, who I would most want to live in longer term community with? Why?
5) What would my ultimate philosophy or vision statement for an intentional community be?
6) How can I live in community in a way that allows me to live naturally and in an unforced manner?
7) What existing intentional community do I most admire? Why?
8) If I were to help form or become part of a new community would I want to practise some form of hospitality? if so, what would that look like?
9) What would my personal non-negotiables be upon forming and living in a community?
10) At this stage in my life how much time (ie. years) would I be willing to commit to another experiment of living in community?
11) How important is it for me to remain in my current neighborhood?

These are a few of the questions that are turning and turning around in my mind. Actually I can't make it stop - no matter how badly I want to. As sick as I am of the word "community" and "intentional" I know I have to figure out whether I want to continue experienting with it or not. Is this a way of life that I am somehow called to. After the sheer craziness that this year has been it is so difficult for me to say.

I know there is a lot of "me" and "my" in the above questions...and the reason for that is - that one of the biggest things I have learned from my time here is that, if your not careful, your identity can become lost is a sea of obligations and "should's" when living in community - in a house of hospitality. It is difficult to maintain a sure sense of self when constantly surrounded by people.

I long for a simpler way of life. A more joyful life. A life with and for others. A life filled with purpose and fuelled by a bigger vision. It seems that community is probably the hardest way for a person to live...but seems that it may be the better way. The way that leads to deeper joy. But I could be deluded.

Some reflections on my experience here:
I know that the major downfall for me about living at the Catholic Worker is the drain on my artisitic & creative nature, and I know now that I can't survive longterm inside a community that is not actively feeding into and focused on creativity in some major way. I realize now that I need some form of artistic accountability....a place that affirms and celebrates art and the artist. I think I need to be part of a community that is focused more on "bieng" rather than "doing"....and than maybe the "doing" would flow out of the "bieng" (??) . I also realize that I need a place that is more concerned with cultivateing real friendship/relationship rather than projects. I think i need a more faith based community. A place where there is more of a commonality of faith expression and more communal prayer that is open somewhat natural an unforced.

Some first thoughts.

Sometimes I think that all I want to do is sit around and play my guitar for a year.

On a farm....where there is a dog....and a labrynthe....and yellow birds.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Avoiding Life...

Hey there...

It's Friday afternoon in June... and there are about a million things that I could/should be doing. But instead I am hibernateing in my room reading, lying around, checking my email and ignoreing the telephone. Good times. And so - I decided it was awhile since my last post.

I spent last week in Newfoundland. Left on very short notice due to my Poppy being quite sick. I hadnt been there in three years - since my grandmothers I decided to go knowing that I really wanted to see him before he dies. Turns out he took a turn for the better and he is actually doing really well in his new home.

It was a good week there. Nice to be in a place where the pace of life seems so much more natural and less frantic. And the air so clean!! I took many long walks in/around the city and along the paths there. The beauty of that land never ceases to amaze me.

Upon returning I have been feeling more and more unmotivated concerning the things in my life I should feel motivated my new job(s) at PNC, like life here at the worker....I just feel a bit blank about life and work. Where I should feel exited I only feel dread.

I have been craving a simpler life - a life free of endless striving and work and searching for and long lists of commitments and endless streams of people and needs and demands etc etc etc. I wonder if my energy has just run out.
Or if my desires for what I really want out of life are slowly emergeing out of a heap of responsibility that I want nothing to do with anymore.

I wish I knew what I wanted. I feel that if I knew that I would do whatever it takes. Maybe life really is too short to be fullfilling obligations and ignoreing true desires. I wish my calling and my desires would run into each other and meet. major clarification of what I am called to do and be is in order.

Don telling me about his friend Sara, who is going to India to finish her studies on Tabla and to learn how to sing in that beautiful way...when I heard about that something in me longs for that kind of life of discovery and plungeing into experiences. I felt the same way when I heard about Jeremy packing up his car and moving to Newfhoundland to study ethnomusicology. Something in me aches for that. To forget everythting and do something that is just for experience life in its follow my own instinct - purely.

I think that turning 30 is actually bringing on a whole lot more bigger life questions than i was anticipateing. Damn it all to hell!!! ;)

I should stop here before my head gets fuzzy and my brow permanently furrowed.
These are big questions.
and I'm hungry.