||[Nov. 30th, 2010|11:43 am]
I got to Twin Oaks yesterday at 12pm after spending 5 hours sleeping off our nocturnal drive from Arlington to C-ville. We parked the car near the chickens and walked over to ZK for lunch. Pax glides seamlessly through a series of hugs, greetings, and snippits of community business while procuring and eating lunch. I don't fit in as easily. A large handful of people eye me up, wondering if they are remembering me from my visiter period or smattering of guesting stays. A couple more, like Marta, Roberto, Edmund, and Elsa, come give me hugs and catch up a bit.
I eat with Marta and Roberto, while they explain their anarchist work-sharing cell Bolo. They're split slightly from the main work system in order to form a tighter collective. Every member at Twin Oaks has a quota of hours they have to work each week. When I did my visiter period two years ago the quota was at 37 hours, but it's up to 42 right now. It fluxuates slightly depending on the communitie's businesses and financial state. The people in Bolo are allowed to collectively meet their hours, instead of each person only being responsible for their own. Right now they are just trying to fill up their vacation balances so they have extra hours to afford to projects and people they are insterested in supporting.
But both Marta, Roberto, and Helm (a new friend I make over the meal) are firm that Bolo is not just about sharing their work and supporting cool projects. It's about building a family.
Hawina comes over at the end of lunch and asks if I'll watch Willow from 1-3pm. I happily agree, having no assigned work for my first day back on the farm. Willow and I spend our time running around. He's 8 now, he was 5 when I first met him, and he's grown a bit physically and a LOT emotionally. The biggest, and most recent change, in the person I know as Willow, is his level of fear. He is way more into risk taking, less whiney now. I appreciate that because we can play a little harder without my worrying that something I do or say will send him into a fear-based meltdown. He also listens a little better, is more interested in me, as a person, than he's previously been.
We spend about 30 minutes collecting and throwing leaves at each other and then invent a game involving a hula hoop and rolling it down the cluttered hill at Tupelo. You get a certain amount of points depending on where it falls.
After dinner Roberto is teaching a Salsa lesson. It's the first formal salsa class I've ever been to and I love it! The music is complex and there is a buttload of technique involved, but the basic steps are easy and I feel like I am much more capable of salsa dancing at the end of it. I walk back to Tupelo to watch movies with Pax and Willow and contemplate the new dancing I've been learning on this trip. I love to dance but it's not something I really actively seek in Philadelphia. In DC Mom took me to some West African dancing that was a super positive experience, and now the salsa dancing... I'm starting to think that the universe is trying to tell me something.
I wake in the morning to Pax and Willow's conversation. I finish setting up the dungeon that Pax and I drew out last night while Pax and Willow round up Rowan and Luuk, two other kids that live at Twin Oaks. As I write this they are sitting next to me in the upstairs living room at Tupelo, playing Heros, which is the D&D home schooling adventure that is constantly being morphed and adapted to their lives. On Willow's 6th birthday we played a game of heros in which there was a scavenger hunt with lots of the adults prominent in Willow's life here playing characters in the course of the quest. At certain points in the game Paxus interjects a round of questioning as an essential task to complete their current objective. Example: They come to a door with strange writing on it. It is a riddle door and they must answer three questions correctly to open it and get to the room beyond. Paxus asks them what Infinity means, why you don't feel upside-down when on the southern hemisphere of the earth, etc.
As we were walking to Salsa last night, I told Roberto that I was very happy to be back on the farm and that I had missed it a lot. He was surprised, and asked me if I was attached to the farm. Attached is a strong word... I'm invested in the mission of the farm, I love that it exists. I like being here in the woods and eating this food that we've grown. I love it, but I'm not attached. I am, however, very attached to some of the people that live here. Now, more than ever, moving here is way more attractive than it has been. And I still feel like I'm not quite ready.