Ramping Up: From “Holding Space” to “Activation” (Part 2: Community Dinner)

Today, podmate Rebecca and I went for one of our periodic lunches at a nearby Korean restaurant (for the BeBeemBop, as usual). We wanted to talk about looking at the idea of turning this two house eco-pod into a “trust” of some kind, so that it can continue on past my demise.

While there, we reminisced on how she and I, for the past 2.5 years, have been basically “holding space” for the emergence of community. And wow, has it taken hold! — ever since last summer, when we enjoyed so many wonderful occasions out on the patio. Back then, it felt like all the plants and trees and mosquitos and birds and fairies and chickens were celebrating with us as we ate, stoked the fire, told stories, did chalk drawings on the patio, composed collages, sang, played music . . .


So we did wonder. Would the enthusiasm continue when the cold forced us inside?

It turns out that each of our weekly Community Dinners inside now draws at least a dozen people, and features spontaneous creative expression of one kind or another, after dinner. Last night’s Peruvian-themed meal — at this Overhill house, rather than the DeKist house (Overhill is larger) — we knew would draw a lot of people. And yes, it did: eighteen! Thanks to our Peruvian neighbor Mariella and housemate Brie, who headed up the event, the food was sensational. (Mariella’s Mom, who visited for Christmas, brought with her a Peruvian flavor that this long-planned meal would need; a special hot pepper, native to Peru (though, as Mariella laughs, “Bolivians would claim it too, but they’re wrong, it’s Peruvian!”))

Here’s Mariella’s menu, well, part of it . . . oh yeah, and pisco sours, but Rebecca couldn’t find any pisco, so she used brandy instead.



tofu peppers


alfio helpsstuffed avosA

Alfio, Kat, Asiri

Neighbor Jen investigates our Overhill three-way rotating clean-up schedule, put up there by podmate Leah, after we asked her to make one for us like the one she made for the DeKist house. (We used to rotate chores once a week, but have just decided that three times a month is plenty!)

rotation inspection

At some point during last night’s festivities, as often happens in social events, the group cross-migrated into two distinct genders and rooms — men in the living room, women in the kitchen. Here’s housemate Brie and neighbor Jen (these two shepherded the Green Acres Little Library project).

Brie and neighbor Jen

Mariella and Tori —

Tori and neighbor Mariella

At one point, podmate Bradley dared to come into the women’s room (no wonder: he grew up in a household of females).


And then, I don’t know how it got started, but all of a sudden Mariella was teaching women how to do Latin dancing, two styles — salsa and cumbia.


And then? Well, the men came in, and everybody started shaking those booties, much to the dogs’ astonishment.


Later, I went over to the DeKist house to retrieve my dog Shadow, who had followed Brie over there. And came across . . .

A band! And ommigosh, they sounded GOOD.



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