Yesterday I participated (or rather, observed, a group activity sent to me by Hugh, a community leader who is also into permaculture, social permaculture, urban farms and villages and and place-making in general; and what struck me was that the man leading the discussion (actually, a presentation) of the rationales behind the wonderful City Repair Project in Portland, Oregon, used the following phrases: “BUILD THE LIFE FORCE OF CULTURE,” and “HOW TO CULTIVATE THE LIFE FORCE.”
Life Force, remember, is Pluto’s realm. And during these final years of Pluto’s sojourn through formal, structural, law-making, Capricorn, let us find ways to squeeze the life force in through the edges of the separative grid-patterns laid down by this selfish, greedy culture that has valued individualism (capitalism) at the expense of community (socialism). I say, let us aim to do both, but wisely, continuously and dynamically balancing their seemingly opposite priorities. For, I’ve noticed, when either capitalism or socialism blots out the other, the result proves disastrous.
For the edges are always where the action is. The more edge, the more action, because the more is going on.
Yes, let us build the life force. Or rather, I’d say, let us unleash the life force, allow the universal energy of LOVE that fills and fuels the universe to flow through our awakened beings. Let us pull out all the stops, unplug from the grid,and be reborn into the center of the SELF’s relation to the WHOLE.
Let us celebrate this day, BELTANE, moment of extreme fertility in the annual cycle of our good Mother, Earth
An example: Little Free Libraries, which City Repair introduced, back in 1995, and they now number over 65,000 world wide; Each one is “place-making;” it offers a tiny place for gathering, relationships, slowing down, and mutual exchange. We’ve got one in front of this house, and it’s been humming along for years.
Some of us in the Green Acres Neighborhood have long dreamed of doing “Intersection Repair,” something else Portland’s City Repair specializes in. I can think of two intersections in this neighborhood which would greatly benefit from a painting done in the middle of the intersection, as well as a Little Free Library, a periodic Tea Stand, and other free-standing structures on the four corners — all of which add interest and walking, mingling, being with each other in our own deeply local place. To me, City Repair illustrates the right use of socialism, since it encourages cooperation while carving out self-maintaining commons from the edges of private property with owners’ permission. Portland uses what they call “spot zoning” to achieve this kind of small, potent miracle.
When I and two others were doing a permaculture design for Green Acres Neighborhood as a practicum for our Permaculture Design Course, way back in 2005, one of our ideas was to create small villages out of entire city blocks, their interiors made into a commons. Turns out, City Repair already does this.
Notice the details on this map, where a neighborhood part way through being gradually greened, re-villaged.
One conclusion from this internet offering yesterday, the whole idea of Mutual Aid is being taken seriously by people now, as individuals, households, neighbors, groups, cooperate in order to aid those suffering the most through this extended lockdown of not only our freedom, but our very life force. ENOUGH!
Meanwhile, here is one of many essays that detail the incredibly serious stakes we are playing with during this unprecedented time in human history when we will either grow into our Plutonian fullness and wrest free of the old Saturnian slavery shackles deep staters want to keep us in, or we won’t.
Remember, each of us was born for this time. Whoever you are, whatever skills, talents, energy, you can bring to bear in creating a transformed culture, do that. Just begin. Who cares if you make a mistake? Each so-called mistake is but a building block. Yes. Step by step, begin to DO that which is right in front of you, what is YOURS to do. Please. WAKE UP, IT’S TIME.
Are we going to regenerate our own ensouled selves and help to revivify our rich, diverse local habitats? Or are we going to passively submit to being mere cogs in a gigantic grinding global machine. Eh? The choice is ours.
P.S. Remember, there are a lot more of us than of them. We are the 99%! And they know it. And it scares the pants off them. What if we wake up? Well, we are waking up. Thanks to the lockdown which, on May 1, May Day, Beltane, is beginning to boomerang.