Journal — January 17, 2017 — organization, language, trust, home
Last summer, “organization” became the most important word in my life.
I was the main one responsible for a common kitchen,
To understand a culture, see how it eats. (source) in Tamera, for two weeks. It was my favorite time in the whole year. I went into it with fifty issues in my life, and I came out with only one: organization.
I could trace everything, all the problems that I face in my life right now, big or small, to disorganization. I’m not using the word in the usual sense, though.
A well-organized system is one able to respond well to the needs that emerge in it. The best example is a living organism;
An organism is an organization of organs organized from cells of organelles. (source) you can look at your own body. You might take an unlucky step, and get a thorn stuck in your toe. Your whole body responds, then, to take the thorn out.
What percentage of your body is your little toe? It must be less than one part in ten thousand. Imagine yourself in a community as well-organized as your body; if you got hurt, ten thousand people would immediately adjust their lives in response. No one would be particularly inconvenienced – it’s not difficult to take a thorn out of your toe, usually – and you’d be well again in no time.
After those two weeks, I made a forum performanceI can’t find a good description of what “forum” is, online. A mix between improv theater and deep listening. about organization. There was no content to it: I just said “I am an easy organ” or “I am an organ of God”, a million times, and the last time I said it I was able to reach deep down inside myself to a place I haven’t touched so often.
I felt grief,
The well is deep. (source) huge and absolute, for the magnitude of the gap between life as I’ve experienced it and life as I can imagine it. I have several thorns stuck in me, and I’m one of the very luckiest ones. It’s been like this for a long time, and no meaningful help seems to be on its way.
For some reason the experience was empowering, and not discouraging. It pointed me in a certain direction, even if it didn’t make it completely clear what I’ll find on the way.
Next month, I’m going to stay with the friend I mentioned in another post for four weeks. I have an outer vision and an inner intention, for the time.
The vision is to support the emergence of healthy, autonomous ecovillages in the Sado river basin.Over 11 days in October, I walked the whole length of the Sado, from the south to the north, as part of the Caminhada pela Agua. I’ve seen a significant part of the river basin where I live.
The intention is organization.
It’s very likely that, in the intersection of these two things, I’ll take responsibility for another common kitchen – for four weeks, instead of two. I’ll also have more support, and more freedom to experiment. I can try out all sorts of ideas that I didn’t have the time or the daring to try during the summer.
Where does the food come from?
Who digests it? Who carries the nutrients to the cells? (source) Who cooks it? How many will come to eat? Who cleans the dishes after? How do we organize all these things, and who makes the decisions about it?
Every intentional community has problems with these questions, as far as I know. If you really want community, you need a common kitchen, and a common kitchen is an enormously complex thing. Even moreso if it includes a garden, which it should. Either way, the full spectrum of human issues are present: love, money, power, communication, creativity, everything. It touches the whole of life.
There is no problem in this world that cannot be solved in the kitchen.