Organizing some old writings, I came upon this from eighteen or twenty years ago. Heathcote Community, Maryland:
A walk will clear my mind, align my north and south poles with some psychic axis. Just to lay foot to gravel is to become a child walking safely down the hallway in my mother’s house. As I watch my dog soaking in stimulations, her day speeds up as mine winds down.
I fold down, despite my back, to the various nuts and acorns on the gravel road. I begin a pocketful for the goat. She likes the acorns, before their hats call off. But it’s late in their season and most lie bald, fallen soldiers in random clusters, sleeping silent and just among a roughly equal number of empty acorn hats. Car tires have cracked the bulk of them.
But here in the gravel, among the ones splintered like baby beer barrels, are the survivors, full with the audacity of a late October warm spell. Here, in the road, dozens of acorns are sprouting. Haven’t they heard the one about the seeds in the road versus the seeds in fertile ground? Are they fooled, or am I, into believing a human account? They sprout in might twists, the colors of lime rinds and Thanksgiving cranberries. They lie there, swimming in magical Maryland mica, The gorgeous glitter that penetrates the soil, the stones and my shoes. As I stoop in the road wearing Dorothy’s ruby slippers, how could I doubt that this is a place of endless possibilities?
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I’m often taken aback when someone asks me why I have goats. My usual response is to ask why they don’t. This doesn’t get them any closer to understanding the attraction, but do they ask parents why they have children? Children are lots of work, they’re loud and messy, they destroy things, disobey, they eat [...]
He arrived home after a flood to find me, a stranger, on hands and knees in his garden. I was a visitor to Heathcote Community and I had been assigned work exchange: the task of picking up gravel that had washed into the main garden from the parking pad. Charles had been traveling and we [...]
How “safe” are your groups for diverse people, operational styles and opinions? How safe do you feel in groups? How about right now? The concept and importance of safety in group dynamics can be elusive. We might be looking for a definition we can all depend on, but in fact, safety is defined by the [...]
C.T. and I have been in our log kit home in the Sierra Nevadas for just over a year now. Reflecting on nearly two decades of cooperative living at Heathcote, I still long to be back in an Intentional Community.
Has it happened organically around us here? ”We have eleven mouths to feed every day,” C.T. just [...]
C.T. Butler Launches New Eco-Friendly Cleaning Business
If the economy is recovering, the wave hasn’t hit our house. As C.T. pursues work as a personal assistant, I have wondered how I could contribute. Since my health prevents me from working, I can pass my skills on to others. Enter The Green Butler!
Early in my time [...]
Hello, TRIBErs! The following is the text of Fiopa Consensus Collective’s brochure on our facilitated process to help groups identify, define and use their commonly held values in a Values-Based Consensus process.–Wren Tuatha
The Initial Values Process
How a Group Identifies and Defines Values Held in Common for Values-Based Consensus
You are beginning a journey, an experiment. No [...]
Thanks to Pablito of Reclaiming Quarterly for this positive review of C.T. Lawrence Butler’s Consensus for Cities! This is a pre-Occupy Wall Street review, of the proof edition C.T. circulated. He had planned to further edit it before the final print. But when we got involved with Occupy, we sold out of/gave away the [...]
I’ve been working with my partner, Food Not Bombs cofounder and consensus author C.T. Butler, on writing about his life. We’ve been mapping the overlaps of activism and personal life. Of course for C.T., the personal is always political and the political is immediate and personal. He tells stories of the first Food Not Bombs [...]
Life lessons, sigh. I had never moved across the country before. C.T. and I made the decision to lessen our work and stress by hiring professional movers, even though our money was beyond tight. In my Internet searches I got lists of moving companies and reviews, most of which I now realize are fake, written [...]