Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Delicious Living

Community: a : joint ownership or participation b : common character : LIKENESS c : social activity : FELLOWSHIP d : a social state or condition

What makes life delectable? What people, places or things nourish our spirit and lend a richness to our day? I've been thinking about this in terms of community, the kind of people and activities that define the framework of our days and give tide to the rhythm of the seasons. The essence of community for me is not only about my "tribe" but about ritual and flow. Sometimes it's a delightfully spontaneous moment but much of my community is about the thrum of everyday life.

I am fortunate enough to have likeminded friends (whom I refer to as my "tribe") all over the country and even in far flung corners of the globe. They are available to me any time I sit here at my computer. The beauty of technology is the rich connections we've made with people that are not a part of the local area in which we choose to live. People which I think about and converse with. People I met online and then in real life that help me grow as a human being and challenge me to dig deeper.

~The Old Sweet Shop; always bring quarters to crank up the player piano
~The Museum Warehouse; a mad array of imports made by tribal people in foreign countries
~The Jonesborough Library; 'nuff said
~First Friday; Art galleries stay open late and we always run into a few people we know.
~MAC counter; work friends that help me grow as an artist and make me laugh.
~Park day; meeting up with other homeschoolers and unschoolers rates pretty high on the priority list
~Nord's games; where we can discuss needed D&D items or new games we'd like to play.
~Michael's; to replenish the constant flow of art supplies being used.
~Hands-On Museum; from painting and freezing shadows to iguanas and a mini-grocery store.
~Music on the Square; what could be better than some bluegrass and sidewalk chalk?
~Acoustic Coffeehouse; dark beer, chalkboard walls, art, independent musicians, who could ask for more?

These people and places are the framework for our regular days. Community; today I sat with some friends that live nearby and assembled an art project that involved 20 people from different states and one from Canada. We sat and drank Chai tea, chatted about life in general and shared our amazement at the different ways each participant expressed themselves in this project. These times make my life feel rich and full, the moments we connect with others near or far and share our days. My Tribe.

This year has seemed to be all about community, all about soul connections and deep friendships. There have been connections made in Albuquerque, in the mountains of North Carolina, the flatlands of South Carolina and right here at home. My daughter connects with her Pensacola community via constant internet and phone conversations every day. We all make connections with new and old friends through MySpace and other internet forums.

I think we need to surround ourselves with positive, brilliant and beautiful people that aren't afraid to shine. I think we need these soul connections with likeminded (and not-so-likeminded) people to help us grow and learn and open our eyes. My community nourishes me deeply. Community is a safe place during the storms of life, it is a haven for our spirit and a boost in the arm when we need it. Community.

My creativity list (Imagination Tribe) has allowed me to participate in and run several trades and collaberative projects that bring home the message of community in a powerful way.

Through community we have experienced the charm of collaberation. Collaberative projects take on a whole different feel than art and writing we do on our own. One of the circle journals we made at Imagination Tribe sits near my bed. I cherish the diverse and interesting pages brought together by collaberative energy. Working together while expressing individuality is a fabulous way to encourage creative expression.

So here's to community and collaberation! Here's to the freedom to create the community of your choosing and expressing self through partnerships and connections. Here's to friends that enrich our lives and the places we love to visit and revisit.
Community..... a small word that holds an immense definition. Life is delicious!!


Danielle said...

Hey, that's me up there with that group of fabulous women!

I love your catalog of community--all the places that fill your local world.

WonderSoul said...

How about the Acoustic Coffeehouse?

Ren said...

I have only one thing to say for myself.....DUH!! Thanks for the reminder Perry.
I actually thought of it a day later, but then was too lazy to go in and fix it.:)