The intensely creative and co-operative energy that I’ve noticed for the past month or so, spanning the change from 2014-2015, (see our Holiday Open House) keeps on ramping up, at least here, locally, and I cannot imagine that we are NOT a fractal of the whole. No matter how much the MSM wants to ramp up chaos-and-mayhem-rule-as-usual-so-be-afraid-be-very-afraid, what we are experiencing here, locally, is something entirely other. Does this mean we have now entered a parallel world, one in which the intensely selfish competitive energy of shock doctrine capitalism has been surplanted by our intensely creative and cooperative group focus? So that we hardly even notice all the other gunk that tries to keep gumming up the works? Or is it simply that whatever we focus on manifests, whatever we turn our attention to, what we attend to, crystallizes into 3-D. I.e., out of the infinite possibilities of the quantum field, what we see and go towards happens. Waves precipitate into particles. We are both the visionaries and the doers of whatever happens next.
Okay, so with that preamble, let’s go.
Noon: Field Trip to the Tunnel, plus north and east edges of neighborhood.
Here’s the start of the noon event, a “field trip” to the north and east edges of the neighborhood with the aim of healing the breaches that have developed as a result of two external corporate entities that got their way, bulldozing and chainsawing protective tree and bush cover: 1) the widened “Bypass” road that the state and fed insisted on and finally saw through to completion, despite intense but sporadic local resistance. and 2) the railroad and Duke Energy’s decision to put an alley in at the along the north end of Green Acres Neighborhood.
City Councilman Dave Rollo brought along two google shots of the area we have to work with, site of the future Green Acres Tunnel Park.
That “V” shape center left in the photo is the start of the tunnel.
And here’s the same site, seen as a blank slate: we are imagining a hillside with fruit trees with swales to channel and hold rain water, benches, a Green Acres sign, a line of evergreens partway up the hill leading to the road for visual and audible screening but without screening the sun, and edible bushes along the path leading to 8th Street, plus two more paths, one a step-down from the sidewalk along the Bypass, and the other a ramp up to 7th Street.
According to Dave Rollo, the city has already allocated money for both the steps and the ramp. We are going to be working with both the Community Orchard for fruit tree donation and care, and the City HAND and Planning Departments to obtain a Neighborhood Improvement Grant, a lengthy process that requires real commitment, according to HAND’s Vickie Provine, also present. Four young people have already agreed to work on and write this grant project together, all but one of them Green Acres neighbors. YES!
Two members of a four-person team that is to do the permaculture design for the Tunnel Park, Sheri and Juan Carlos, also walked with us, getting the lay of the land that has been so punched through by external forces. We need to heal those edges.
Here we are, getting ready to start down the hill to the tunnel.
All in all, a number of internal and external relationships are starting to cross-fertilize via this Tunnel Park Project in a wondrous outpicturing of the Vision Statement for the Green Acres Neighborhood, as finalized for our Plan as filed with the city government:
Green Acres aims to become a sustainable community that embraces neighborliness and forges partnerships within and beyond its borders.
There’s more to this field trip story, but I want to save the best for last: THE VIDEO!
Okay, on to the second event launch.
Launch: Community Supported Dinners
If you recall, podmates Rebecca and Katarina, plus neighbor Melissa and her dog Lucas canvassed the east end of Green Acres Neighborhood bearing little invites to the launch of our thrice-weekly dinners at the DeKist house, a brain child, or I should say, heart child of Rebecca, director of our GANG garden. She wants to inspire the IU students in the area to not only grow food, but learn how to preserve and prepare it, plus eat it together — and all, of course, to help generate more and more of a sense of connectedness in our neighborhood/ecovillage as time goes on.
Here, again, are the two sides of the invite:
I’m happy to say that this launch went beautifully, with a dozen people present that first evening, including an IU teaching couple Alfio and Mariella, who hail from Argentina and Peru, with their beautiful children Juakim, three years old, and Asiri, seven. Here they are with Rebecca and one of her dogs, Nico.
Mariella is already lining up podmates Leah, Katarina, and Kiryssa as possible evening babysitters. I told them I know of another young family in the hood, and will put them in touch. And of a third family, who I’ve seen walking by, and need to intercept next time they do! Then Katarina reminded me of a fourth young family, whose young son worked alongside us in the garden last summer. So we’re already talking about play dates in the garden starting late spring.
Andrew, the young man I met at the Orchard party last weekend, was also present. YES! He brought along a corn casserole, not realizing that he doesn’t need to. This is not a potluck; we fix the dinners here, but he’s welcome to help prepare beforehand, or clean up afterward, bring ingredients, or just donate $5 or so to cover costs. (Neighbors sign up at a closed facebook group). Here he is, at the end of the table on the left, smiling.
Notice, BTW, the gold and red and brown rug hanging in the background, beyond Rebecca. I bought that handmade rug in Turkey, probably a dozen years ago. Nearly threadbare, it once graced the floor of a hut in a village in Anatolia. It was in Turkey that I really groked the vision of neighborhood as village. So that this treasured rug would be hanging there, during our launch week, not only feels symbolic, but makes my heart sing.
If you recall, Andrew also lives on DeKist, and, it turns out, only two houses from two other people at his table, also IU students, Robin and Korrine, who themselves live only two houses east of our DeKist house. Until this dinner, the three of them had never even seen each other walking or biking to school. Can you believe? This is how out of touch we usually are with one another. And these three young people are part of the advancing wave bringing us back home, where we belong, together!
BTW: If you say that a pod consists of houses within shouting distance, then at least Robin and Korrine’s, and Andrew’s by extension, are both in our Milkweed Pod!
Here’s another shot of that sweet, sweet event.
The next evening, last night’s Tuesday meal, was equally sweet, with Andrew and several new ones, again about a dozen. Tonight, Wednesday, will be the third and final meal of this launch week, with Kiryssa and neighbor Heather creating some kind of Asian fusion. (First night was downhome cookin’ with mashed potatoes and a vegan casserole, second night pizza with both gluten and gluten-free crusts).
Back to the tunnel
Okay, for the piece de resistance! Our first Green Acres video, produced and edited by Katarina Koh. Our now famous field trip to and through the Tunnel. (That’s permaculture teacher and designer Keith Johnson with me — I guess we’re leading the parade!)
BTW: we are brainstorming (heartstorming) how to up the level of constantly changing graffiti in the tunnel, transforming it into an area for continuous creative community communication and expression that spans neighborhoods on either side of the tunnel. Plus, two people, John and Marilee, members of a band present at last night’s dinner, volunteered to give a free Green Acres benefit concert IN the tunnel. Original tunnel concerts idea thanks to blogger Laura Bruno’s comment.
BTW: Alfio tells me he and his family already traipse under there, to experience the echoes from their songs and shouts.