We of the founding “Milkweed Pod” of the Green Acres Neighborhood Ecovillage successfully negotiated a difficult hurdle during these past few days, when one of our six members realized that he was just too introverted to wholeheartedly participate in community life, despite his love of the GANG garden and his immense contributions to it over the past three months. After several more or less difficult conversations and attempts to communicate, he agreed with the rest of us (all women) that the six of us together “do not make a good fit.” This dear, and very talented, young man plans to move out within the next two weeks, and we are currently open to whomever the universe blows our way, with appropriate vetting, of course, including participating in at least one of our now thrice-weekly community dinners, and being willing to move in on a “three-month trial basis.”
Weird, how we do need to “make rules” in order to have energy flow smoothly in community, and not weird at all, when we remember that the foundation of permaculture is, let’s face it, relationships, starting with human beings!
Meanwhile, I do feel for any man who even dares to think about moving into this two-home Milkweed Pod with five women (two crones, three maidens), all of whom communicate and flow with each other easily and naturally. So hard to be a man in this culture that, as my friend Keith says, “creates so many wounded men.” Hard especially, since men are usually programmed to keep to themselves, especially when wounded, and find it difficult to share their pain with others.
We women, on the other hand, have been “processing our stuff” together — and in our private journals — for centuries. This common feminine activity that endeavors to work with and integrate both the juicy stuff buried in the the unconscious as well as the shifting dynamics of intimate personal relationships used to be called, and labeled, pejoratively, “gossip.” “Processing” is a much better term, and it’s something I craved on an ongoing, even daily basis for years, especially in my 40s, when I was finally learning how to “face, embrace and erase!” my own childhood wounds. It may be that this powerful and prolonged personal journey sculpted in me the definition I love most when people ask, “What is crone?” “Crone,” I intone, pretending to deep seriousness, “is one who swallows her own shadow.” And while I may pretend to seriousness here, I really am serious. In the sense that unless we work long and hard, over and over, to recognize that whatever we see in the outside world is actually sourced from the inside world, i.e., that all perception is projection, nothing will ever change and we’ll keep fighting each other forever — until we turn the Earth into a burned out shell.
That definition, by the way, lets us recognize that one can assume the mantle of Crone at any age. I know of several children who carry the wisdom of Crone as part of their conscious internal archetypal makeup, and some young women, for example, my pod mate Katarina, a remarkable person who is intensely curious to know more about crone and other female archetypes, and who has now assumed the duties of getting news about our Green Acres project into social media. Here’s her new header for the fb page for the GANG.
The five women who remain in the pod are now going to “put on our first production,” (aside, of course, from the garden itself): a Holiday Open House(s) on December 17, from 5 to 8 p.m., complete with baked goods, egg nog, twinkling lights, handmade wreaths, and beautiful music. Plus, we will conduct tours of the entire Milkweed Pod (gardens — with new African hugelkultur beds — chickens, water catchment, solar installation for both homes, orchard, new kitchen/dining room for community dinners, etc.) four times, on the hour, by candle light, since it will be dark on pre-Solstice December 17, which happens to be the evening before two of our members, both SPEA graduate students at IU, leave for the Christmas holidays to visit their parents. That date also happens to lie midway between the birthdays of our two Sagittarian crones, Rebecca (December 14) and me (December 19) — so of course, we shall serve cake and sing Happy Birthday.
Podmate Kiryssa will create the poster to send out via email tomorrow to all sorts of lists: neighborhood, permaculture guild, various clubs, and everybody’s friends — including the great folks in the City Planning Department and the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development. I certainly don’t want waste this opportunity to inform others about our experiment to gradually and thoroughly transform an existing suburban neighborhood into a regenerative ecovillage!
By tomorrow we should have the poster ready. I’ll post it here.