Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rainy Days

It has been raining for what feels like forever here! The rain has been a big conversation topic. Come on, we live in the woods, what else are we going to talk about besides weather?

Joshua and I went to visit my family for a few days, and had a really great time. On my way back, it was pouring rain, and lots of the roads were flooded. I was driving down 125 HWY and suddenly we saw a creek flooding over the road. It was too deep for us to cross, so we had to reverse the car and turn around. We didn't know how to get back to East Wind any other way, so we stopped at a gas station, and one of the employees directed us home.

We made it home safely, thanks to the kindness of strangers, and slow driving.

I guess it is rainy season.

I really like cooking and baking when it is rainy outside. It seems like a lot of people do. A friend and I got really excited about cream puffs, and told some people we were going to make an experiment batch one rainy/cloudy day. It was just me and her, cooking quietly in RB (Rock Bottom.) It seemed unusually quiet. We guessed that people were hiding out from the weather.
Just about the time the cream puffs were finished, a group of our friends came in RB, asking "cream puffs? cream puffs?"

They were so freaking good.

Zan trying a cream puff. 

I finally had my cream puff fix!

East Wind Activities

There is a wide variety of interests here at East Wind. When we're not working, we like to make time for fun activities. We like to have bonfires, drum circles, dance parties, hiking and canoe trips, sweat lodges, music jams, and pool playing. Those are some that just came off the top of my head, but I am sure there is more.

If you have an activity you want to share with East Winders, just set up a time and event, post a note about it on the day board, and if it's not totally off the wall, then people will probably come.

Joshua is really into contact improvisation, and he facilitated it a few weeks ago.

Contact improv is a dance based on points of physical contact.

We started with some exercises, then went into a "jam" session, which involves actual contact improvisational dancing. I don't have any pictures of that, because I was involved in it. However, it was fun!

Afterward, we did some random things, like free form dance, and practicing handstands.

This weekend, there will be a group meditation, and a May day celebration!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

joy and sorrow

Sometimes it seems like negative energy can eat up our community. I will be sitting on the porch of Rock Bottom and people will be complaining or yelling about something multiple times a day. The past couple days have been like that, and I am surprised that this time I haven't absorbed much of it, though I have seen friends absorbing it.

Sometimes I will feel overwhelmed and in need of some quiet alone time, so I will go to my room and meditate, read, or mend clothes, and that helps a lot. Then I can come back to the community and see things from a different perspective. I can see that people are expressing the pain that I was perceiving as negative energy. I saw it this way because it affects me, and it hurts.

I can see that these painful expressions come and go here at East Wind, and joy is also a common expression, along with sorrow.

At the end of the day yesterday, a few of us were sitting on the couch, and we were talking about how the past couple of days had been rough. There was no tangible reason for it. There just seems to be a flow of energies that comes in waves, and I have come to appreciate the realness of it.

I appreciate that people express here, even if they aren't using non-violent communication. Sometimes we yell at each other, but sometimes we hug and cuddle, and speak of how much we appreciate each other and the beautiful land, and the sharing and connection we have.

Although a few people expressed being upset yesterday, I think it was a good day for me, overall.

I made a batch of yogurt that came out very creamy. I think I am getting better at making yogurt.
I worked in the garden for a few hours while chatting with friends.
I thinned beets and thought about how I was sacrificing one beet's life so that the other could grow bigger.
I covered someone's dishes shift.
I picked ticks off me.
I read and socialized.
In the evening I worked on cream puffs with a friend for the upcoming holiday.
Today I will be making hummus for the holiday too. There are going to be tons of snacks.

We have a holiday every month, which is a great reason for celebration and joy.

I wonder if I am getting better at accepting myself and others how they are.

Lovin' you, East Wind.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shitake Mushroom Logs!

We started another batch of mushroom logs today.

It all starts with inoculated sawdust.

Then you drill holes in the logs. The holes were drilled every three inches, all around the logs; about 1/2 an inch deep.

After that, you fill the holes with the inoculated sawdust.

And cover the holes with a wax.

Set the logs up in a shaded area and then you will have tons of mushrooms in about one year! It's worth the wait.
Here are some mushrooms from the logs that were inoculated this time last year.

These mushrooms are a little dry because they aren't getting enough shade. It got warm very early this year before the trees had created foliage.

See ya later!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

East Wind Community

Joshua and I returned back to East Wind Community after leaving Acorn. We are provisional members at East Wind.
Honestly, I didn't want to come back here. I believe that when I did my visitor period at East Wind, August 2010, the community was experiencing a down time. The temperature was in the 90's and 100's every day, and the humidity was unbearable for many people, causing grouchiness. Many people were on vacation, resulting in many chores being neglected; such as cooking meals or changing out the composting toilet buckets.
Though, life is really good here right now. I have been here for three months now.

Every day is a challenge in a different way. For example, because 67 people share everything, things go missing a lot. Everyone's mind works differently.

I use a thermometer weekly to make yogurt for the community, and today I couldn't find the thermometer. When someone finally found it I talked to the kitchen manager about the issue of things going missing, and he told me that I could just keep the thermometer specifically for making yogurt, and keep it hidden. I hadn't considered doing this before because it is a community thermometer, but I figured, what the hell. If I don't hide it, then it will go missing again and I won't be able to make yogurt for all the people who love to eat it.

I was later confronted by another communitarian asking if I had the thermometer. She needed it for taking the temperature of the goats' milk. It is very important that the job gets done, and she was stressing about it. I had no idea the thermometer was used for that. In the end, we agreed to keep the thermometer in a specific place so that we could both find it and use it when we needed it.

Things go missing.
There are a lot of people living here.
It is difficult to know the details of what other people are working on, or going through in their personal lives.
But then we connect, and communicate.
And that's community.

December 12, 2010

I am currently at Acorn community.

I am on my last week of the three week visit. I came here right after my visitor period at Twin Oaks. I found out last week that I was accepted for membership at Twin Oaks.

It was a stressful three weeks there. I really wanted to live there, and was worried I wouldn't get accepted, plus I was dealing with, my partner, Joshua's new romantic relationship, which was hard for me.

Joshua and I were the only visitors who got accepted to Twin Oaks out of the five people who applied. I was really surprised.

I told my life story at Acorn last week. It was less painful than when I told it at Twin Oaks.

I am currently doing "clearnesses" at Acorn. I talk one on one with each member and ask how co* feels about living with me. Does this person have any concerns? And vice versa. I had two clearnesses so far and they went well. I am very interested in knowing how people feel about me living here, and getting the opportunity to talk to people about any concerns I might have about living with them. I love the open and honest face to face communication. It can be scary, but I think it is great for resolution.

I am sad about leaving so soon because there are some people here I really like, and want to develop more connection with.

Some things I noticed that might be difficult for me living here:

High amount of computer usage
Few substance-free group activities.
It is sometimes difficult to see what needs to be done, besides cleaning and cooking. There is not always seed packing available.
Little group work.
Almost zero scheduled work.
No large indoor space for dance and yoga, like the Bijou at Twin Oaks.

Some things that would work well for me living here:

More freedom to cook whatever I want.
More freedom to work on whatever I want.
Face to face communication.
Two meetings a week.
The Seed Company is a business I strongly support.
I really enjoy working with the seeds.
There is a puppy and a dog and cats who are cuddly, loveable, and fun to play with.

I love pulling carrots, and working in the garden.
I really like cooking.
The Living Energy Farm project has been fun.

I have been practicing daily meditation and yoga. It has decreased my anxiety somewhat, and I am often more aware of when I am having repetitive, worrisome, and negative self talk-type thoughts. It has been easier to let go of these thoughts.

I am excited about a new relationship. It just recently turned into a long distance relationship. It has definitely not been as fun since it became long distance.

I recently have had feelings of loneliness and insecurity when Joshua spends time with his new partner. I think I am coping well right now. He has zero issues with my other relationship, which is great!

I am excited to go home for Christmas! And see Joshua's family too! And then back to East Wind community, and then I will return to Virginia for my new life and home either at Twin Oaks or Acorn.

I am not going to make a decision on where I want to live until I find out if I get accepted for membership at Acorn. I want to visit Little Flower when I come back, the Catholic Worker farm in Virginia.


*co -gender neutral pronoun used commonly in FEC communities.