My Community Is Huge

2 Dec

Community is a word that evokes warm feelings of camaraderie and belonging. To be part of a community is like having family, only without having to eat the tomato aspic at Xmas. It is comforting knowing that you all share something important to each and every one of you, whether it’s sexual preference, gender, local, spirituality, ethnic background, skin tone, a proficiency for making bombs out of empty whisky bottles, music… the list is endless.

I have been a part of many communities and at times none, depending on what facet of my being, was being discovered or explored.

Initially I found the experience of being a part of something shared with many, to be everything I was looking for. And then I would develop an interest in something that was outside the community values or I would start to feel suffocated by the rules, politics and outlook and I would drift away, looking for something closer to who I had become.

For a while I thought maybe I was just a loner.

As I get older I find myself craving solitude and only share my spare time with people I connect to, creatively, intellectually and who want to keep growing in all areas of their lives. And I am ruthless in eliminating people who drain my energy or I have to be someone else with. While this may seem cruel, I don’t have 40 or 50 years to play around with anymore, so yes I am being selfish with my last 20.

I think when I was younger, my identity was forged by being specific and now it is defined by removing all restrictions. So instead of being a part of any community, I find community in moments and experiences. Like being in a room filled with strangers all sharing the beauty of a Sufi love song, or talking to a person on the street, who is wearing the same kicks as you, about shoes and life and… Or sharing a look of sheer joy on the Great Wall of China with a little girl and her family.

I don’t know if it’s the times we are living through, the despair, the fear, but for me the communities have become armies complete with labels and slurs for everyone who veers even slightly from their manifestos.

I have empathy for their pain but no desire to enlist. I believe there are many ways to create positive change, just like there are many ways to define community. And one thing that is vitally important for us all to carry with us “no matter what don’t lose your sense of humour, because then the revolution is truly meaningless”.

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One Response to “My Community Is Huge”

  1. Carole Plant December 3, 2018 at 10:51 pm #

    Bravo. Bravo sister.

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