Wouldn't it be cool to live love life together?

dream and discuss the___(allogamy)______idea here

a good read June 10, 2011

Filed under: Examples,Farms,Social Structure,Vision — lily @ 11:16 am

http://www.thefarm.org/general/farmfaq.html   hey love monkeys, these are the explanations of The Farm (which is the ecovillage of Albert Bates, one of my teachers in Belize). I just read through this and like the matter of fact tone and the perspective. Check it out.












Notes from the Brainstorm on May 13th, 2011 May 23, 2011

In attendance: Clara, Phil, Lily, Ilyse

What follows are the rough notes from the whiteboard with some minor fleshing out. They are definitely NOT exhaustive, so comment away and add MORE FLESH!!

Found this by googling "happy farm." It was like the only picture that wasn't of Farmville.

Mission Statement Brainstorm:

-awesome people necessary

-chill house, chill people, chill space


-own mindspace

-place to have a career

-community of people

-Life as Art

-mundane as art, day to day life as art

-sharing resources

-especially occasional use stuff

-mutual reliance

-sharing work

-community interface

-still have privacy

-public/space vs. private space

-perhaps a system where there are times of the year that are private, or parts of the property that are designated as public/priate spaces

-beautiful place, safe, ease, people

-commitment, flexibility, empowerment

-hoard of children in the woods

-life I’m not ashamed of!


-how outward facing do we want it?

-naturally built


-trees and flowing water

-somewhere between rural and urban

-creating IC neighborhood

-“I look around and I don’t see anything I want to join, so I want to make it!”

-sister communities

-founding a nation


-how much food are we going to grow?

-integrating gardening practice into daily life

-clear communication in expectations and responsibilities

-globally-recognized institute

-of living, of exploring, of community

-open spaces and sprawling property with paths, sculptures/sculptural structures, and sites for gathering, meditation, exploration


Unintentional Community and Daily Life March 3, 2011

It all comes down to daily life. Yes, there can be splendid moments of other worldly transcendence, but choosing to live life as a human means, at a minimum, eat, sleep, breathe, poop. There are cultural add-ons like taxes, sidewalks, and math class, but ultimately, there is just no escaping those basic human needs and the activities  and factors that have grown out of securing them. It is certainly meaningful, fun, and necessary to create and attend events and activities that are outside of those that occur everyday, but ultimately it is the venue of the home base that feels the most real, space and people included. Why is that? Why do humans have such a division between home life and outside life? Is it architecture, the mere dichotomy between indoor and outdoor space and having to travel between the two? Is it the fact that the the sun rises and sets, giving us days season years that make the repeated acts seem somehow more real? It is easy for me to get focused on projects and really feel in the flow of them, but then they are over, and I look at each new project and think that someday it will be over too. I want something all encompassing, something that integrates daily life with those bigger projects and a sense of reverence pervading throughout. It seems like intentional community is the only way to make that happen, where each action is an expression of the choice to sustain life and practice the glory of being alive. But does it have to be on a farm to make it happen? Why is it that growing your own vegetables or building your own house or pumping your own water makes life feel more integrated and real?

Maybe it is because of the extraordinary mass of stuff in our lives. Even a trip to the bathroom involves toilets made of ceramic, metal, plastic and any number of pieces produced and shipped by any number of other factories, toilet paper made obviously from trees then put in more factories, toilet paper holders, cleaning products with chemicals and more factories and more trucks and more shipping and industrial designers coming with bottle designs and graphic designers designing labels and marketers figuring out the demographics of how many people are buying the products, and all of this before even considering the amazing complexity of the systems of pipes and structures getting water to your toilet and then flushing it away to another building to clean it and maybe even back into the ocean…basically endless systems requiring endless resources and endless people so that any given day you may have been relying on the work of thousands (millions?) of other people just to go about doing “normal” activities.

And that’s what feels real about living off the land. Cutting out that noise. Living in consumer culture we are surrounded by larger and more complex communities than ever before in human history, and we have no idea who these people are and where these resources are coming from. When you are sustaining yourself on your “own” land, you have a direct relationship with all of the elements in your realm of experience, human and otherwise. These relationships are deeper and stronger because you depend on them for survival, but also because of the simple fact that you are aware of them. Each element of your life can be something that you choose to be directly present in. Do you need to be on a farm to live intentionally? No. But in cities and suburbs, the task of even identifying all of the elements of your surroundings (let alone their origin, history, or function) is nearly impossible. While it may not be necessary to know these things, the more you are unaware of, the less connected you are to the systems in place, and the more you are a cog in someone else’s machine. If it’s a good machine, well, then great. But how do you even know if it’s good if you don’t know what the machine is?

This is why I feel strongly about having a community that isn’t cut-off from the rest of the world. It may seem counter-intuitive to say that after railing about how alienating it is to be part of a system you have no connection to and how important it is to live simply, but that is precisely why intentionality is so important. Maybe my naive fantasy is to live completely cut-off from the consumerist world for a few years and then like Zarathustra come down from the mountain and start to spread the word. But these massively tangled global systems are where all of the people and resources are, and that is where our work as world-waker-uppers is. Because guess what? All of those people tangled in the systems are world-waker-uppers, too. All of them.

We’re seven billion strong.


Hosting in community August 30, 2010

This is an iPhone post.

So in my vision of a landholding, placemaking community there is alwYs some outward facing element. I haven’t quite narrowed down my vision on it yet, and I think that’s good because I want to do it in dialogue with community members. But it’s there in my mind. By outward facing I mean some integral element of inviting others to join us on a temp basis, be it the general public, school classes, workshop goers, many options. But I am ready to live boldly in the wYs I truly see fit, without having too many good examples of people that blend modern technological world with physical life system world. And I think that in so doing, others will want to participate, see, learn, at least work-trade. I suppose I do wantto live an example life in a certain sense, although I just told Ilyse like yesterday that I do NOT want that, haha. I Guess it’s that I don’t wantto proseletize ( sp??) but I do wan to create the opportunity in our community to be part of a wider community of likemimded people, and encourage those looking for better life patterns to follow our lead. I’m assuming here that we are freaking awesome and smart which we are. I mean, What if we made commune friends with another commune and then could vacation swap to new Zealand or new Mexico or Belize. Share knowledge. I can’t easily go back And edit on this tiny screen, so bear with my riffing here, lovelies. Thanks.


Baby Showers..Mother Showers June 15, 2010

Filed under: Ritual,Social Structure,Spiritual — lily @ 11:49 am

I went to a baby shower this week with Clara and our Mama, held for the impending birth of our cousin Jenna’s first child next month.  It was lovely to go, and Clara voiced that her favorite moment was when someone in the circle of women present commented to Jenna, “Yesterday you had nothing, and now you have everything you need” and the relief that shone through Jenna’s face was beautiful and satisfying.  There are not many rituals left in our culture where a group comes together to launch someone into a new phase of life like this. Babies really do require lots of Stuff that is unique to their care, and it is wonderful to have everyone gift what they can and then the new mom is suddenly materially prepared.

But can this ritual be more than the stuff? Yes, definitely.  In the car on the way home we discussed the types of interactions that were expected and elicited at the shower and the kind of social space that was made. Of the four hours of the shower fully three were opening presents rather quietly and passing them around the circle.  Most of the items were brand new and some were kind of silly (Mom especially balked at the three foot foam pad for resting the baby on while nursing. It straps around the  mom’s back and looks like a platter. Wouldn’t a pillow do fine to rest the baby on?).  We played some cute baby games, well organized by the grandmothers-to-be, but very little social time or story-telling time was on the “schedule.”  I am not interested in parsing apart Jenna’s shower, it was lovely to see her, I’m glad that it happened and the shaping of that experience is firmly in the hands of mom and grandmas. But I am in using the experience to think about what I would want a ritual around birth and motherhood to look like at our community if I were to be the one baking a bun in the oven.

So I switched into positive and personal terms, what would I like to have happen? And I decided that what I want to make is a Mother shower pre-birth, and then a Baby-shower something like three weeks after baby is born. At the Mother shower I would want a celebration of being a mother. I want the circle of women to go around and talk. Are you a mother, lets make a space for telling birthing stories and stories about being a mother. This can also be the food part, eating and storytelling. Perhaps there should also be some back and foot massage going on here. Get in touch with each other and make it comfortable to tell stories.  In this moment everything changes in a woman’s life! Discuss. I would also want some talk about me, the mother, what I was like as a child, tease me about my birth, my youth, tell stories of my growth. Maybe baby pictures or videos of me growing up. This is a way to remember, babies really do grow into parents! I would definitely want the material aspect too, prepare me to take care of this child please! Bring gifts of things you used with your babies, many already loved items and some choice, multifunctional new things.  And tell everyone about them, what they mean to you, or what worked and didn’t work in your experience of raising an infant. Have fun and get to know the community of women. Yes, I like it being a circle of women.

At the Baby shower however, everyone woman man child is invited! See the baby, make art around the baby and for the baby. take footprints and handprints of baby, make a guest book and have everyone write things to baby.  Baby can read it, see it, when ze grows up.  Introduce baby to the community. Eat, drink, party! Maybe songs? Yes. Sing together.

It is so exciting to plan out awesome celebrations like this. Yes of course I want to celebrate moments like this that launch us into new phases. And we’ll have to make them up, because they are really lacking in our traditions! We GET to make them up! I’m sure there are lots of other moments that will need celebrating like this.


Placemaking and PPS June 12, 2010

Filed under: Architecture,Decision Making,Examples,Social Structure,Vision — Ilyse @ 10:28 am

This wonderful organization called Project for Public Spaces came to me from the heavens (or the Permaculture SF listserv). It talks about co-creating cities in a communal fashion. It seems like an amazing example of treating urban spaces as the communal living environments they are and the intentional communities they could be, centered around a concept called “Placemaking.”

“Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy. It takes root when a community expresses needs and desires about places in their lives, even if there is not yet a clearly defined plan of action. The yearning to unite people around a larger vision for a particular place is often present long before the word “Placemaking” is ever mentioned. Once the term is introduced, however, it enables people to realize just how inspiring their collective vision can be, and allows them to look with fresh eyes at the potential of parks, downtowns, waterfronts, plazas, neighborhoods, streets, markets, campuses and public buildings. It sparks an exciting re-examination of everyday settings and experiences in our lives.

Unfortunately the way our communities are built today has become so institutionalized that community stakeholders seldom have a chance to voice ideas and aspirations about the places they inhabit. Placemaking breaks through this by showing planners, designers, and engineers how to move beyond their habit of looking at communities through the narrow lens of single-minded goals or rigid professional disciplines. The first step is listening to best experts in the field—the people who live, work and play in a place.

Experience has shown us that when developers and planners welcome as much grassroots involvement as possible, they spare themselves a lot of headaches. Common problems like traffic-dominated streets, little-used parks, and isolated, underperforming development projects can be avoided by embracing the Placemaking perspective that views a place in its entirety, rather than zeroing in on isolated fragments of the whole.”

Check out the Project for Public Spaces here: http://www.pps.org


List: ICs and Reading Material April 26, 2010

Filed under: Random Stream of Consciousness Post,Social Structure,Vision — indorfpf @ 4:59 pm

Acorn (VA) http://www.acorncommunity.org/
Twin Oaks (VA) http://www.twinoaks.org/
Ecovillage of Loudon County http://www.ecovillages.com/index.php
Sandhill (MO) http://www.sandhillfarm.org/
Dancing Rabbit (MO) http://www.dancingrabbit.org/
Eastwind (MO) http://www.eastwind.org/
Oran Mor (MO) http://oranmor.freeservers.com/OMfiles/home.html
Earthaven (NC) http://www.earthaven.org
The Farm (TN) http://www.thefarm.org/lifestyle/index.html
Ithaca (NY) http://ecovillageithaca.org/evi/
Ganas (NY) http://www.ganas.org/

Rainbow Gatherings 2010

Ecovillage Network of the Americas
Fellowship for Intentional Communities

Reading Material:
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale.
Beecher, Jonathan, Bienvenu, Richard. The Utopian vision of Charles Fourier; selected texts on work, love, and passionate attraction.
Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Sower.
Fogarty, Robert S. American Utopianism.
Frank, Pat. Alas, Babylon.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies.
Heinlein, Robert. Stranger in a Strange Land.
Hine, Robert V. California’s Utopian Colonies.
Jenkins, Joseph. The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure.
Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. Commitment and Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective.
Kinkade, Kat. Is It Utopia Yet?: An Insider’s View of Twin Oaks Community in Its Twenty-Sixth Year.
Le Guin, Ursula. The Dispossessed.
Melville, Keith. Communes in the counter culture; origins, theories, styles of life.
Piercy , Marge. Woman on the Edge of Time.
Robinson, Kim Stanley. Red Mars.
Shute, Nevil. On the Beach.
Skinner, B. F. Walden Two.
Strieber, Whitley. War Day.
Twin Oaks Community. Journal of a Walden Two commune; the collected leaves of Twin Oaks.
Varley, John. “The Persistence of Vision.” The John Varley Reader: Thirty Years of Short Fiction.

Kozeny, Geoph. Visions of Utopia: Experiments in Sustainable Culture.