Saturday, April 4, 2015

Where Will Laird Live?

Two months after Ma'ikwe pulled the plug on our partnership, I've narrowed the main candidates for the W2L2 Sweepstakes down to two prime contenders. In no particular order, here are my reflections about the advantages of each.
Staying at Dancing Rabbit

o  I know the climate and enjoy it.

o  I have friends here already, including the men's group that meets weekly and all the folks over at Sandhill, just three miles away.

o  I'd remain close to the FIC headquarters, where I can help (even after transitioning out of the center of operations by the end of the year).

o  I can continue with all manner of support people I already know: doctor, dentist, bridge club, and all the stores in the area I know where to go to get what.

o  I know many of the rhythms and systems of DR (which means I won't have to learn new ones).

o  The cost of living is low in northeast MO, and my income is mostly elsewhere (from consulting and teaching), which is a great combo.

o  I'd be part of an important experiment in sustainable living at DR.

o  DR has an educational component that is on the rise and there are excellent prospects for that translating into teaching opportunities without leaving home (and without assuming more than my fair share of administrative overhead—about which I figure I'm running a surplus in Akashic accounting).

o  Moving will be much simpler (out of Moon Lodge and into another living space in the village—I could do it in a wheelbarrow).

o  DR is a central location for access to train travel in any direction (relevant because my work lies in all directions, and I prefer going by choo choo). If, for example, I moved to one of the coasts, I'd be looking at a three-day slog whenever I had work on the other coast.

o  There are a number of projects I've fantasized doing when my life slowed down (which I believe is starting to happen) and these will be more easily accomplished in northeast MO, where the resources are already in place and I have access to them. These include such disparate things as building and operating a smokehouse, pioneering some specialty condiment recipes, and getting back into wood carving. Also, at DR it will probably be easy to offer part-time help (such as back-up when one of the regular cooks is on vacation and kitchen assistance is needed for pizza night at the Milkweed Mercantile).

Creating a New Community Elsewhere

o  The satisfaction and stimulation of living with a handful of friends with whom I already have close bonds—deeper than those I currently have in northeast MO (excepting with Ma'ikwe, who has made it clear she wants less of me).

o  Not dragging out the potentially awkward separation from Ma'ikwe. While I think we'll mostly do fine, I'm still sad at losing the marriage and am unsure about how triggering it may be watching her energy go elsewhere.

o  The excitement of doing something I believe I know a lot about: setting up a successful community, based on members with high social skills and a commitment to being a positive influence in the world. There is, after all, a steady need for more intentional communities—especially high functioning ones.

Why it might not be that big a deal

o  My pattern right now is that I'm on the road 40-50% of the time, and that's not likely to change much, at least in the short run. So I'll only be home 50-60% of the time to enjoy all the benefits above. When I'm on the road it doesn't matter that much where home is (though I'd prefer shared housing, so that I don't come home from trips to find dead house plants, multicolored mold in the refrigerator, and dust covered shelving.

o  I expect to spend more time writing now and that's more or less a solitary activity. Though I like having others read my drafts and offer comments, mostly that's accomplished electronically anyway, so it doesn't make much difference where my desk is.

o  I know I want to live with friends, or at least quite near them. Human beings are herd animals and we crave each others' company. I need that contact. Fortunately, either choice above is likely to provide it.

• • •
While my mind isn't made up yet, the fog is lifting. A lot will hinge on how excited my close friends elsewhere are about the prospect of creating something together. Stay tuned to this channel for late-breaking announcements.

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