land we seek is first found in the heart, then in the mind,
then in the world
The Word, Letters, Introductions, News
I'll be brief we have a good number of new folks contacting us this time around and some of the material in this issue was already sent out but I want to give such things some emphasis.
I would like to ask for some reports from anyone who cares to contribute. I am looking to include in any future mailings your accounts of visits you've made to any community. I am not looking for an official report, but just some handy information to pass along. I hope, that by doing this, we can see how others solve problems we either are facing or may well face. Just email them to me and I'll post them in the newsletters as I can.
You could also post them in the YahooGroup.
I ask this because a couple of people have mentioned it and I think it is a real good idea to share that kind of information and insights
Thanks so muhc Dan
I updated some of the information on our profile at the F.I.C..'s website. No major changes just some odds and ends.
The directory: http://directory.ic.org/
Again, seasons bet from us both, Wendy and Dan
An overview of what we'd like:
Community of Light
We want to co-create a community in a rural area, grow a good portion of our own food, create a profitable cottage industries, and so be self employed. We would keep well the land that we live on and engage in right livelihood. We also want to contribute to the community around us and so benefit our society. Ideally, we would want to be near enough to a good sized town maybe some 50,000 or so, a college community would be something to consider. We could each use our talents, abilities, or professions to provide for ourselves as well extent help to others.
You are all welcome to express your ideas about what our community should be. We are, after all, the persons who will make it up.
There are a lot of ideas that we've discussed but I want everyone to know that what is or has been in issues are meant as working concepts. This whole idea is a work in progress and so let us know what you think.
If you have not been to the Community of Lights web page we now have a listing of communities that are forming. It may be educational to visit some of those sites to see what's new in the community universe See the links at: Community of Light
Thanks, Dan and Wendy
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
These are the introductions from persons that have written us since the last issue. Please go to Subscriber's Profiles if you would like to see the profiles we have on file currently. Some but not all of these people may have additional information there.
Michael Rodriguez .......... email@example.com
Greetings my name is Michael Rodriguez. I am almost 20 tears old. I'm very tired so I won't write a ten page essay on what makes me perfect for a commune type setting. To make a long story short, Babylon just aint cutting it. It never escapes my mind.
Fellow Traveler .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello there, I was wondering how I could join possibly.... Please contact me at your convenience!Respectfully - Bill
yogita sarang .......... email@example.com
Hi, I would like to join this group. Regards, Yogita Sarang.
James Ferguson .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put me on your mailing list for the Community newsletter. Best wishes Jamie
makinmypeace .......... email@example.com
retreatssurvival ......... RetreatsSurvival@aol.com
Jamonbo . firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamonbo's comment upon joining was: exploring ideas and locations for community living - single male, 63, currently in Central Oregon with cats, energy and ideas : )
Peter George email@example.com
I used to live in the Bay Area, and I also lived at an intentional community in Mendocino, CA, called Shenoa. I am interested in returning to the Bay Area, so please keep me informed about your community.
azsurvive111 .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
We are Tim & viola Guiney, and we are forming an intentional community in N AZ. We are looking for residents and to network with others who have a similar mindset.
Eric Hoffman . email@example.com
Hello, My name is Eric. I have been interested in community living for a long time. I guess I just really started to look into it as something I could actually do. I am married and we have two kids. My wife and I agree that we would like to find a place self-sustainable, or close to it where we could raise our family. We are Wiccan, and very interested in nature remedies. I have always wanted to be able to work as a community and build our village, and make things to sell in town or online. Incense, oils, growing herbs for healing, and such. I am also handy with wood working, but do not know a lot about it,
Dolores Finney . firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Dan: I'm in central California. I wanted to move uphill to the east where land was cheaper, but when I had the money to buy a couple acres, Joe refused to move. There wasn't a lot of soil up there - pretty much just a couple inches on top of solid rock. I figured I could garden just like I am now - above ground level.
We had another bunch of holes and piles from gophers again today. We already had to haul dirt in earlier this week to fill in where a whole gopher trail caved in. It s never-ending battle with them. But, this year, everything is in deep window flower box type pots so its working out okay
Allwell . email@example.com
I have been looking into buying a very nice 1,700-acre lot but need help.
I am an inventor of sorts and have several energy ideas that I would like to build. It will supply all with power. (all = 1,000 families to live on the lot) I have many other ideas that would make life better and safer as well.
First, the lot. It has 300' of lake frontage, roads, etc. My thought was to sell one-acre lots to 1,000 people, couples, families, etc. and leave 700 acres as community property. Each family builds on a portion of their acre and manages the remainder. There is much more to it but for that is the gist.
Community Forming and Land Opportunities
Kim and Viola Guiney .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed Jun 4, 2008 10:18 p.m. (PDT)
Since we are new to the group, we wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves to the other members. My name is Tim Guiney. My wife is Viola. I am dad to 5 wonderful young people, and Poppa to 12 precious grandbabies. We live in Phoenix, Arizona. My wife works for the state, and I am self-employed in the alarm business. We are pretty prepared for most eventualities, but as in all things, it is possible to make improvements.
We are a part of a group called the Greater Arizona Preparedness Project, or GAPP for short. The purpose of this organization is threefold:
1) We intend to educate the public concerning the need for individual, corporate, and community preparedness;
2) We are creating a sustainable community that incorporates the principles of preparedness, which will be run as a "for profit" agricultural business that will serve as a model for others to duplicate with out costing an arm and a leg;
3) We intend to plug into several different organizations which are creating a network of communications between like communities across the country.
I would be happy to e-mail you our promo material, that includes our Mission Statement, Position Paper, FAQs, Dwelling Unit floor plans, and pics of the shelter, to anyone who would like one. We have 2 different parcels of land in Northern Arizona: #1: Is a little over 8 acres on which we are going to construct the
Farm and Ranch using a sustainable / thrivable platform. We will be constructing all the necessary aboveground buildings needed to meet that purpose. It has an existing underground hardened NBC shelter at 8,800 sq. ft that is in complete working condition.
#2: Is a little over 6 acres that is about 3 miles from #1, and we will be constructing the dwelling units in that location. At first, we anticipate a working community of approximately 100 adults, plus their children who will work Mesa Butte Ranch, and maintain the properties. The remaining 75-150 families will probably continue to operate as normal until the balloon goes up. At that point, the remainder will gather to Mesa Butte Homestead.
We are currently seeking those who want to be a part of the solution, and not a part of the problem to become residents. All will own shares in the community, according to the amount of capital they put in. This way no one can be shut out of their investment, etc. Not everything is cast in concrete as of yet, as we have been waiting to finalize some of these issues until more people became involved in the planning of the project.
Also, we are looking to network with other individuals and communities across the country for mutual benefit and sharing.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like further info concerning the GAPP project. e-mail is: email@example.com , yahoo group address: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gappgroup1/, and Office: 602-595-2526.
Sincerely, Kim and Viola Guiney
from . firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 23, 2008 10:45 AM
There is currently 102 acres for sale in WV. The asking price is 200k. Most of it is in forest with only about 4 acres cleared land. Ever thought about making wooden caskets? There is a demand for green funerals now. Also making kitchen cabinets might be a good cottagejob.There is a Christian commune in PA and they make wooden playground equipment.
From . Sterling Stipe email@example.com
Monday, March 24, 2008 11:28 AM
Here is some information about co-housing, a strategy we might employ if we try to go forward in an urban setting. It is a interesting concept: http://www.cohousing.org/
firekeeper38 .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
A reference article concerning composting containers
DECENTRALIZED CONSENSUS HOLISTIC FAMILY COUNCILS
Original items and Dan's comments:
1. Realize that the destructive energies on the planet are the result of highly organized, centralized, majority rule institutions who meet regularly. Also realize that these institutions we all support by depending on them for money, jobs, food, gas, political decision making etc.
Dan: This might be a way of understanding our reason for creating a community
2. Realize that by becoming equally involved in decentralized consensus holistic neighborhood councils that we can begin to take individual responsibility in creating peaceful balancing factors to help bring about the necessary changes in society that can help save the planet and create healthier, happier, freer, richer, and safer neighborhoods.
Dan: What it means for us, perhaps that for our purposes it would be a community council, but it would, could serve the same purpose, this could be the manner in which we form consensus. A council of everyone in the community would be the base for our organizing ourselves and our work.
3. Openness to change on a positive level is part of the solution. Evolution instead of revolution.
4. Consensus circle council (instead of hierarchical majority rule council) creates more equality and cooperation and less competition. Consensus refers to unanimous agreement before action. It may take a little longer in the beginning; however, there will be less problems down the road. We know we don't agree on everything, but let's concentrate on what we do agree on and build a purpose or council together based on that agreement.
Dan: We've already agreed on a consensus model and this statement reiterates the advantages and disadvantages of the system.
5. Decentralization is important. Dividing a group before it gets too big and centralized allows people to know each other better, thus developing a deeper trust and awareness of what is going on. By dividing groups into bio-regions and netting energies with other bio-regions nearby, we can localize our energies while at the same time we can be part of a broader plan of agreement. We suggest that groups divide when the council has more than 12 speaking members.
Dan: For us we'd have "working groups" those sub sets of members who are able, for reasons of talent and skill, to specialize their participation in the community so that we could make efficient use of their expertise.
6. These consensus circle councils can operate similar to native American Indian councils with a few added improvements. A short silent prayer before speaking begins helps harmonize energies. By moving around the circle with a three minute hourglass timer we can allow each member equal time to speak while at the same time keeping an unobstructed flow in the communication. It is important not to interrupt each other while speaking so that the council stays relaxed and peaceful. More meetings and rotations allow us a chance to finish any uncompleted thoughts, ideas, etc. Bring a note pad and pencil to facilitate.
Dan: The details here are worthy of discussing and debating. Before we made any such agreement. But the idea of getting everyone's input and buy in is good.
A very easy way to give food to the hungry is to set the Hunger Site as your browser's home page. Check out the Hunger Site to see what it is about and how it works.
If you want to research intentional communities this is a good place to start.
Communities Magazine comes out regularly and is a resource for those seeking to explore communities. The directory that is a great primer in the variety of the community universe. You can write them at the address given below. This is their office address.
Communities Magazine, 138 Twin Oaks Road, Louisa VA 23093 USA or call them at: Tel/Fax: 540-894-5126. Their website is at Intentional Communities
The resources on the Northwest Intentional Communities site might be valuable. There are lists of legal documents, process advice etc. They're at: http://www.ic.org/nica/resource.htm
This list of places seeking members, communities forming and the like. It's at the F.I.C.'s website: http://directory.ic.org/iclist/
It might be a place to do research, who knows there may be a place within a relatively short drive.
My yahoo ID is available for use as a means to chat online. I am willing to schedule a time(s) during a given month where we could chat. I am thinking that a Saturday or Sunday would be the best time overall, however I am open to suggestions. Please advise.
If you are a member of our Yahoo group you can access the current polling data, or vote: this is the link to our group This is what we have at "press time"
Would you consider a location outside the United States?
the U.S. preferred 2 9%
on country chosen 5 22%
- no preference 2 9%
but not first choice 9 40%
consider outside U.S. 4 18%
Outside the U.S. preferred
depending on country chosen
Neutral - no preference
would but not first choice
NOT consider outside U.S.
Should we have a membership fee of some kind?
of entering members 5 27%
making capacity of the community 13 72%
Income of entering members
Money making capacity of the community
If we had an entry fee what should it be based upon?
of entering members 0 0%
of entering members 2 12%
making capacity of the community 2 12%
Other 4 25%
share buying system 8 50%
Number of entering members
Income of entering members
Money making capacity of the community
A share buying system
Areas or regions we'd like to consider: (See the site for details)
NM, W. Texas 0 0 Cent.
US: NB KS OK DA 0 0 G.
Lakes, AK, MO, IL, IN,WI, KY, TN 1 6% E. KY, E. TN, WVA,
W.VA, W.,PA, 2 13% G.
Coast, FL, LA, MS, AL 1 6 E. PA, NY, NH, VT,
CT, RH ME, MD 0 0 N.
Idaho 1 6 NW/W OR, W.
WA, 7 46% CA, NV, UT, E. OR,
E, WA, MT, CO, Wy 3 20%
AZ, NM, W. Texas
Cent. US: NB KS OK DA
G. Lakes, AK, MO, IL, IN,WI, KY, TN
E. KY, E. TN, WVA, W.VA, W.,PA,
G. Coast, FL, LA, MS, AL
E. PA, NY, NH, VT, CT, RH ME, MD
NW/W OR, W. WA,
CA, NV, UT, E. OR, E, WA, MT, CO, Wy
What kind of climate would you want to live in?
% Tropical 2 8% Subtropical
5 20% Forest
7 20% Woodland/meadow
10 41% Tundra 0 0%
What land locations would you like?
% Island 14 18%
Peninsula 11 14%
bound w/coast 15 19%
bound no coast 12 15%
altitude 13 16%
altitude 12 15%
Land bound w/coast
land bound no coast
What sorts of things would you want to use the land for?
20 13% Raising
livestock 14 9% Raising
feed crops 11 7% Hunting
6 4% Gathering
16 11% Fishing 14 Utilitarian
crops 10 6% Fruit
bearing trees 23 16% Lumber/milling
5 3% Water/solar
for alt. power 24 16%
Raising feed crops
Fruit bearing trees
Water/solar for alt. power
Would you consider a buy/sell/relationship with the outside world?
% Yes 23 100%
No 0 0%
Subject: No Left Turns
My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.
"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."
At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse." "Well," my father said "there was that, too."
So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the
Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.
My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.
My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that.
But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first. But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.
It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car. Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother.
So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.
For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.
Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage. (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)
He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.
If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."
After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."
If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"
"I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre. "No left turns," he said.
"What?" I asked.
"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.
As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn." "What?" I said again. "No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer.
So we always make three rights."
"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support "No,"she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count." I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road a s I started laughing.
"Loses count?" I asked.
"Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again." I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.
"No," he said "if we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week."
My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.
She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.
They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)
He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.
One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.
A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point on our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer." "You're probably right," I said.
"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated. "Because you're 102 years old," I said. "Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.
That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet"
An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: "I want you to know,"he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain I am very comfortable.
And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have."
A short time later, he died. I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long. I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns. "