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It has been a while ...

So... i am now essentially living in rural Oregon at Lost Valley in relationship. I have been participating in permaculture type projects, having a good amount of fun, and experiencing personal growth.

I am doing fairly well. I have currently been experiencing some emotional ups and downs. My vision for myself includes emotionally growing and thriving in an intentional community in a rural environment. It includes feeling included, feeling well, centered, whole, happy.

My experience has been that the living arraignments and environment here have improved for me compared from my initial trips to Oregon and to Lost Valley. When i arrived to meet up with my beloved and her family unit in August after they had moved from Berkeley in July 2004 to Oregon, there was a lot of uncertainty as to where and how we would live in Oregon. They had visited an intentional community called Lost Valley outside of the Eugene area. We then did more exploring and checked out our other options of where and how to live in the Eugene area. After agreeing on a move in plan i went back to the Berkeley area in the California Bay Area to work on more of my business, packing and moving of my stuff while M and kaseja moved into Lost Valley after applying and being approved of as Prospective Members on September 20th. Two weeks later when i was back in Oregon i applied to be at Lost Valley doing an Internship or Work Trade in the area of permaculture. There was a feeling k and i perceived from the community that was difficult for me and her. We then decided that from some of the initial negative responses from existing community members of "OK you are M and k (a couple), who is (this additional person) rkmlai ?" that i should not apply to be a Community Member only to then receive a rejection from the community to be a member. So i applied as a renter and things have been a little easier since then. I can understand that some of the older members were still trying to figure out who the had accepted as membership material (M and k) and wanted a cleared picture from their paradigm of who they thought M and k were. My experience also included my feelings of feeling "left out" of Membership stuff as M and k began bonding with the older Community Membership whereas i was not as much. I was feeling not included as a "partner" as k has stated that i am to her. I feel that the community has since seen (or at least is begining to see) that M and k are not "a couple" but are "chosen" family members and co-parents and partners regarding kids and that i am k's Beloved and "partner".

Now i am feeling (since the Maslowvian hierarchy basic needs of where-to-live are worked through) some feelings about regarding how-to-live (on the way to self-actualization). I figure that this is all on the way to personal growth and fulfillment. The plan now is that i will be a Community Member in the future.

I find it often ironic that of M, k or myself that i am the most in alignment with the mission and purpose of Lost Valley and that i am the one who is not a Community Member (yet). I feel like i have been the strongest proponent of us staying and being patient to experience Lost Valley. I feel it is not only the best option of what we have but also the option with the greater flexibility and potential personal growth gains for us all (M, k, i, Lost Valley).

I like working in a rural environment, except for the part where i dont drive and sometimes feel isolated in a feeling of time scarcity with my beloved. However since i am working and living on the land with k and able to join in working with her on many projects, it is a work-in-progress and is fine for now. Sorta like "why would i leave to go into town to NOT be with k ?". The scarcity part is where she is 1) needing to be at work off the land as an "in-home-health-aide", 2) when she is at Member only meetings, and 3) when she is interacting with other community people where i am not. I feel sad as I realize it is a FEELING as i do actually spend a lot of quality and quantity time with her.

An example of some of the stuff we do together one day in December included transported cut blackberry canes to the chicken yard to bulk up the ground to make it easier for the Lost Valley Community chickens to walk on (i.e. not on hard packed soil) and something for bugs and grubs to hole up in in the yard. We also depiled some other cut grass piled around during the summer and other chicken maintenance for the 24 chickens we have. We debaged some Community bulk ordered food into their more usable bins. We then meditated together and read some of a book we are reading aloud together "Embracing the Beloved". That felt good also. After k left for work (she works as an in-home-health-aide for senior citizen type care) that day, i fixed a wheelbarrow tire, washed more laundry, connected briefly with a few community members, which felt successful expanding and good, connected with our upstairs neighbor which was good but discombobulating (i guess) and phonecalled a new friend in Eugene.

I have been doing also some various farmtype work alone like chainsawing and chopping wood, trail maintenance, more chicken stuff, transporting more cut blackberry canes, building a composting toilet, helping create a swale to hold rainwater runoff onto an into the land, tool repair and maintainance, and digging a trench to bury some old naily rotted wood all under the umbrella of permaculture per the permaculturist that lives here at Lost Valley. I have also been the resident R.N., and have been doing some Community childcare. I am also trying to connect more with other community members to diversify my social support systems while not with k.

We have been doing candle lighting for Shabbat fairly often too.

This LJ entry has turned out a little more random in thought then i had originally planned but i can acknowledge my expectations and accept that i too am a little more random the i plan.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
freakyme
Jan. 26th, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC)
That is a lot going on. Sounds like some fairly big life changes. I am glad to see that you are well, and healthy and still working feelings out from reality. That's often the most difficult part of any relationship.

I hope that the community open up for you soon!

Being a strictly urban girl, all I can say is, wow, what an experience!
dryadgrl
Jan. 26th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)
This is the most I've ever seen you write. Your communication is so much clearer than it's been and I'm impressed also about your clarity of thought. I'm gald to see you doing well and I hope this go better for you as time goes on.
daniela
Feb. 7th, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)
hello, richard.

it is really great to read that you are living such a full life. it sounds like your world has expanded exponentially for you in recent years. thanks for writing!

your friend
daniela
rkmlai
Feb. 10th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
hello daniela,

Thank you for responding. it is a very full existence having fun in a rural environment. i planted peas with k and the kids yesterday morning in the garden. That was fun participating in a spring ritual. i then helped cook a pasta lunch for the community. After lunch k, the kids and i went into Eugene to go to the Eugene Public Library searching for Train books for Juveniles. After a while i kissed bye to my beloved and walked to the Amtrak Depot and boarded the Coast Starlight to go to Berkeley.

After arriving in the Bay Area i had breakfast with D and E talking about our kids over coffee, went to an appointment, had lunch with friend Crow at Breads of India, dropped off some stuff to Marc left over from his visit to Lost Valley, had another appointment, then walked and talked with friend Kelley about her life, my life at Lost Valley, the upcoming Nevada Desert Experience Peace Walk, Bike Chain Response and more life for a bit till now. i am feeling tired, happy, glad. i am waiting to hang out with my kids now (waiting for their tutoring appointments to conclude).

i was just thinking of you while i was cooking lunch. have you any interest in visiting rural Oregon ? i would like to see and talk with you either during one of my Berkeley trips or in Oregon.

your friend also,
Richard
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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