Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day
This post is from a perspective beyond the consumer mentality of material goods - beyond the adage of "the one with the most toys wins".  The toy-laden one could win with a brittle and cold heart.  But interaction with people can keep the heart malleable.  Alert to the malleable heart however - learning to live with vulnerability can be a challenge, too.  Regardless, when we are burdened, intangibles can buoy us and provide some sense of stability as we flounder with everything else around us.

Physical places provide opportunities to engage with other people and form a community.  One such place is A Verb for Keeping Warm (AVFKW), where people welcome you and there is space to pause and work or peruse their goods.  The climate in the shop is literally warm - warm people, warm and true light, warm goods.  They have built a place of community where people from the broad spectrum of skill levels - neophytes, dabblers, and teachers - gather and share.

Another place is the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance (MUCID), where friendly people gather to dance and make music.  Dance instruction and performance is typically with live music and drumming - energy is mutually shared between musicians and dancers.  Dancers and musicians convey stories and pay homage through movement and music.

In addition to bricks and mortar, the internet can be a vehicle for community.  Social networking sites like Facebook may provide some semblance of community, however the platform changes too frequently for my taste.  Ravelry is a specialized site with a particular interest and focus on knitting, crocheting, and spinning.  Interaction and observations can be shared in groups, forums, and messages.  I don't know what the privacy settings are on Ravelry.  I don't feel a need to know.

Other examples are simple and are highlighted here as a reminder: an invitation to a gathering where an activity or interest is shared - playing music or making things with our hands.  A conversation with a neighbor as we each tend our gardens.  An exchange of homegrown fruit for a homemade meal.  A place of time and space where the ground rule is that we enter with the same spirit we wish to be greeted with.