Saturday, January 31, 2015

Point A

Down here in Louisa County, Virginia (which is where I'm currently staying) a plot was hatched last year.

There are four functioning communes in the county, starting with Twin Oaks (where I was when I originally wrote this post and which was begun in 1967), and then Acorn (where I am now and which was started in 1993), and then Living Energy Farm (started in 2010), and now Sapling (started in 2013).  (Someone posted a note on a board at Twin Oaks about doing the SALT circuit--from the first letters of the first words in each commune--starting with Sapling and ending with Twin Oaks.)  Then there's also the communities in northeast Missouri (which I visited in May and June of 2013) and East Wind in southern Missouri.  As I said in my post on Building Urban Communities (12/1/14), there's a lot of rural communes.

The plot began with a discussion about this between Paxus and GPaul, both of whom were living at Acorn.  One thing that they realized is that, while rural communes were growing in Virginia and Missouri, more and more people are living in the cities.  They decided that this was where they should put their community building efforts.  Although there are two urban communities in the Federation of Egalitarian Communities (the Emma Goldman Finishing School in Seattle and the Midden in Columbus, Ohio) there isn't any urban egalitarian communes on the east coast of the US and hasn't been since the community that I helped build (Common Threads) folded in the year 2000.  (For more about some of this, see my post on Issues in Community: Urban and/or Rural, 9/29/13.)  They decided to try to grow communes in various east coast cities, starting with Washington, DC, and New York City.

They started off secretly  with a few collaborators.  Paxus, who a couple of years ago was working to create another rural commune in Virginia, decided to abandon it to work on urban communes.  (I've written about Chubby Squirrels and the Louisa County and northeast Missouri communities several time in this blog--most notably in my post on Communities of Communities, 6/9/12.)  They began working on a mission statement which culminated in a proposal.  Then the hard work began.

They connected with The Keep  in Washington and began holding workshops in New York.  What they found out was that DC wasn't that difficult (although GPaul and folks from the Keep are still working on the final stages).  On the other hand, NYC is proving to be quite difficult.

So why am I writing about all this and what am I doing back in Virginia (bouncing "back and forth between Twin Oaks and Acorn" as Paxus put it to me in an early email before I came here)?  As I wrote in my post on Building Urban Communities (12/1/14), I'm down here 'to be part of the Point A project'.  I've already been part of one whirlwind tour that stop briefly at The Keep in DC, before going on to spending a few days at Ganas in NYC and then a few more days at the Baltimore Free Farm which, of course, is in Baltimore (Maryland).  Even now I'm planning our next trip up to New York.

And I'm on the waiting list to get into Ganas--which will allow me to do Point A work on NYC, from NYC.  Eventually, if we can succeed in starting a commune in New York, I hope we can work on creating a Point A urban commune in the Boston area--which is my home area.  As I said to people when I left Boston, I was going to Virginia to get to New York so I could come back to Boston.  It's certainly the long way around, but given how long I've struggled in the Boston area to build something like the community that I loved disappeared in 2000, the long way may be the only way to go.  It feels like with Point A, at least I've got support in building community.

Quote of the Day:  " ...the rural commune is a model that is pretty thoroughly explored and proven.  ... We're taking on a big project not only in training ourselves to cooperate well and in maintaining this protective bubble, but in transforming all of society to more cooperative, democratic, egalitarian forms." - from the Point A website


vera said...

So what does it mean, NYC is proving difficult? People don't come for the workshops?

I am having a hard time visualizing what exactly this is, and what you are all doing.

Kelpie Oaks said...

I'm happy to have found your blog! Thank you for the update on Point A, and I'm looking forward to hearing more.

MoonRaven said...

Thank you Kelpie, and welcome to the blog.

MoonRaven said...

Sorry to not respond too quickly, Vera. We're actually in NYC right now.

The goal of Point A is to start new income sharing communities. It hasn't been that difficult to find people who want to do it in DC, but people have so many different interests and desires here in New York and are involved in so many different things, that finding people who want to focus on community building is proving to be somewhat tricky.

I'm going to start to be living here in late April or May and maybe having someone in place here will make a difference.

MoonRaven said...

Oh, and what we're doing is having lots of meetings in order to figure out what people are willing to do.

vera said...

Sounds sound. It's like home church plantings I've heard about... you find the initial group, and then help them hatch and support them while they are figuring it out. Rooting for y'all.

MoonRaven said...

Thanks, Vera!