I kind of see intentional communities as the 'think-tank' within which a community-disabled people
can figure out how to do it again. By 'do it', I mean sharing resources, communicating honestly, not having any big hang-ups with each other, and having a good time.
What an embarrassing no brainer! And yet all of us, I bet, have stories in which this simplest of things has gone very wrong.
So I enjoy my conversations with intentional community
folks, and my random readings of 'Communities' magazine
BUT, for many reasons I sing loudly the praises of unintentional communities. Of the community
that is created by having different goals, different politics
, different lifestyles, and that one uniting factor being just basic old geography. Neighbors.
One of the reasons I find this so precious is my general take on 'leaving society' perspective. My perspective is 'DON'T!'. Or maybe do it for awhile, till you start to breathe easier, and then come back to the messy world as it is.
That messy world needs you, needs people in a neighborhood who like potlucks, and dare to push the envelope of what a 'garden
' looks like (to name an example).
When I was growing up in the suburbs I had some suburbian idea that the further you went into the city
, the more disconnected and superficial people would be, and the further you went into the country the more hippie and earth-connected people would be. Not true!
There are plenty of people who live way out in the hills and own a 5acre ranchette just so they can sit on a riding lawnmower and feel agrarian. And there are plenty of people in the city who know the birds and the wind and what it means, who grow food in the craziest most wonderful places, and whose ecological footprint
is a fragment of their country counterpart.
So that's something to consider.
The other is that when my one and only connection to someone may be the fence
we share, that is actually a very fertile edge. That is place. Even if they think
I'm a sinner or a nutcase, most everyone can find a passing minute to talk about how lovely the flowers or weather is. And from being connected to that place, revolution comes. The place is the intention, no matter how much asphalt it may have.
I'm very happy that people are living in intentional communites. They teach me a lot. It takes a lot of support to not forget how important the flowers and the weather are, and that the earth works its magic on us everywhere, as much as we will let it.