a long read and a simple proposal

Am fac­ing sig­nif­i­cant resis­tance on the home­front to the idea of.…well, I’ll define it in a minute (resis­tance email is at the bot­tom.)  I think of it as Shangri-La, but I also think shit­ting in a 5 gal­lon buck­et for com­post is total­ly the right thing to do.

If I’m tru­ly seri­ous about this, I’ve got to address these issues or rede­fine my goals.

**** and **** and I have talked for a while now about cre­at­ing some kind of cool way to get a bunch of hard-char­gin’ peo­ple togeth­er to live in a beau­ti­ful and wild place where we could hunt and gar­den and sip cof­fee and whiskey (for ****) and read great books and build hous­es and gen­er­al­ly just have the best damn life imag­in­able.  Not a com­mune or a hip­pie com­mu­ni­ty or our own lit­tle 1,000 acre plot a hun­dred miles from any­where, but I’ll get to more of the descrip­tion in a minute.

I haven’t been able to sell the idea to Lee yet, she’s got some dif­fer­ent ideas about what con­sti­tutes the good life, and it’s impor­tant that every­one who might be involved has their say, so…

Some points to consider:

-Hav­ing not lived in one for a while, I still think small towns are pret­ty cool.  Still, I’m not tied to a small town, although I like the idea.  If we were near enough to a big­ger city would that be OK?  It seems to be pret­ty impor­tant to a “clean” life to live near wild and pure places, and by their very nature those are usu­al­ly far away from big cities.  If we could find a small enough town that had the pure lands around it, but was big enough to hold what­ev­er it is that’s impor­tant to a large group of peo­ple I think that’d do it.  Not sure where that is, but I’m look­ing for­ward to the search.

-I don’t think any­one is talk­ing about a com­mune set­ting with back­rubs and bath­tubs and bull­shit, the idea that I think we’ve come up with is pool­ing resources to buy land or buy­ing sep­a­rate plots of land that are near to each oth­er in a cool area that we all dig.  After that it’s each fam­i­ly takes care of their basic needs.

We have talked about build­ing a shared work­shop, whether that’s for wood or met­al or mechan­ic stuff.  We’ve also talked about a shared work-out area, and maybe a shared gear prep/storage area, but I don’t think those are go/no-go cri­te­ria for any of us, just things that are nice to have and share with oth­er cool peo­ple.  ****, ****, chime in with any­thing I’ve missed, I’m sure there’s a lot.

The big pic­ture here is to cre­ate a com­mu­ni­ty of friends (not a com­mune) who real­ly enjoy their neigh­bors and enjoy doing stuff with like-mind­ed peo­ple.   The ques­tion that start­ed this was along the lines of, “How cool would it be to be able to share a meal or a con­struc­tion or art project with your neigh­bor, or work on a bread-mon­ey project togeth­er, or go ski­ing or surf­ing or hunt­ing or what­ev­er with peo­ple who would also hold a kick-ass con­ver­sa­tion or be equal­ly into a “liv­ing” qui­et?” and have all that be a neigh­bor away instead of few states.  The answer for me is pret­ty god­damn awesome.

From what I can see it will require a change for all of us, a real change.  If we’re seri­ous about it than we have to have con­ver­sa­tions like these that clear­ly define what we want and how we’re going to make it hap­pen.  If we don’t do that we might as well take a few bong hits and focus on more impor­tant top­ics like how to save the entire world.

Back to change…All this seems to require a change of where we live and a change of how we live with and com­mu­ni­cate with oth­er peo­ple, but it’s a change from good to great.  If we want great and glo­ri­ous things in our lives we have to be proac­tive in mak­ing them happen.

-Vis­it­ing vs liv­ing, well, shit, I’m not sure myself what I want right now.  I love to vis­it peo­ple, but right now I don’t spend enough time with some of the most stim­u­lat­ing peo­ple I’ve met and I think that would change if I lived clos­er to them.  On the flip side of that coin, I’m so damn busy with work right now that I bare­ly see any of my friends out­side of work, so maybe it’s more of a commitment/focus thing than it is distance.

In the back­ground of all of this is a throb­bing hum of mon­ey.  To do this will take mon­ey, and it’s mon­ey I don’t have right now.  To make it hap­pen I have to decide along with Lee how to make that mon­ey, and if the “why” is worth the “how”.  At 32, it seems like the best time to make that kind of deci­sion; I still have lots of time left, I’m still strong as a god­damn ox and I seem to get smarter every day (with the usu­al minor setbacks.)

-I have almost zero inter­est in buy­ing in Europe.  I am Amer­i­can and intend to have my home in this coun­try as long as I live.  Does­n’t mean I don’t want to spend a year at a time some­where else and learn a new lan­guage and cul­ture, but I want a rock-sol­id base camp here in the States.

So with all that said, A1: Is this some­thing we want to enter­tain as a gen­er­al idea, and if so, then A2: How do we want to define it?


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