Wait. That's just my negative side coming out. My dream isn't so far from being made manifest. I'm just beginning to realize that I may not recognize it when it comes around.
So. Peace, Love & Harmony. That's my dream. I took this picture while Kristin and I were at the hot springs last weekend, and while we were there we made some concrete plans for the creation of our mutual dream for our future -- our commune.
Ok. Co-housing. I know. Commune sounds so... alternatively hippie and violent. Images of flowerchildren and vats of cool-aid. Too many women and too few men -- and not in a lesbian mecca kind of way. But still, co-housing feels awkward on our tongues.
Here is my (our) dream:
acreage in some semi-rural area that is still within easy driving distance of a cool city. Like somewhere in Oregon or N. California or New Mexico. A community of houses full of our friends. A fish/duck pond. Chickens. Gardens -- vegetable and herb and flower. The individual houses arranged around a central courtyard with a big play area for the kids. A common house with a big kitchen, dining/great room, a play room for the kids during inclement weather, guest quarters, AV equipment, maybe a gym. I'd like there to be a simple outdoor stage for house concerts by local and wandering musicians and maybe plays the kids (and/or adults) would like to put on (as kids my brothers and I were always putting on magic/talent shows and plays for the other neighborhood kids). A generator for the common house just in case of the complete collapse of society as we know it (why yes, I AM obsessed with Jericho and Battlestar and other dystopic visions of the future, how can you tell?)
I see Kristin and me and the kids living in a house built as greenly as possible, warm and inviting, surrounded by this community of people we love. I see friends dropping by unexpectedly -- knowing that our door is always open. I see myself with a job that doesn't take up all my time, one that gives me adequate time for writing. I see my children in a community schooling co-op -- like homeschooling, but in a group with other parents taking responsiblity for teaching different subjects. I see us, as a family, travelling a lot, taking the kids to foreign countries, coming back to the arms of our community.
I see myself as a writer, taking the visions in my head and sharing them with others. I see myself engaging in dialogue and friendship with other writers -- inviting them to come stay in our community for a while, maybe running an artist's retreat or a writing workshop. I see myself in my dreams as confident, self-possessed, gracious, generous, warm and welcoming. I see Kristin doing a job that she loves, that she feels fulfilled at. I see our children flowering into the best that they can be -- following their own dreams.
Peace. Love. Harmony.
Sometimes I think this vision is impossible, that it is so wavery and watery that it will never come to be, that the best I can hope for is some rough semblance. And in those cases I just hope that the semblance is enough. But other times I think we might just get closer than that. Already our house is warm and welcoming, our doors are open to visitors and guests, we're working to create community. And after taking a good look at our finances, Kristin and I think we may be in a position to buy land in a year or two, in fact, we're going to start looking around. We figure we'll buy the land now, and then when we're ready to start really planning the co-housing, if the land isn't where everyone wants to be, we'll sell it and hopefully make a profit to buy land elsewhere. It may yet come to pass.
And I'm going to write a novel. I'm going to do it. And I'm sending my completed poetry manuscript to some contests and presses and such. And I'm going to start looking around for some freelance work. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.