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?