it takes a village for adults too…

4 thoughts on “it takes a village for adults too…”

  1. I ponder this thought of community regularly, while still busy with work and too tired to work on the community part knowing that it is an essential part to feeling connected once I retire. In this troubled world it seems easier to just draw inward to insulate one’s self from the horror we see unfolding around us. Yet it’s more important than ever to make the effort. It enforces the idea that we are all part of a large village even when we don’t agree with one another. I have a few friends who I know voted for Trump and part of me wants to distance myself from them. When I make conscious connections with them it reminds me that we are all human (and flawed) but most of us are good at heart and I realize it’s important not to cut away this part of my community. Anyway, rambling here, but love the piece. It’s thoughtful and heartfelt.

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    1. Thx Terri I love what you wrote too. Appreciate the difficulty when you’re busy with a full time job… Yes, beyond your job, you ARE creating community with your Casitas rowing club, your work on the Board of Las Padres Forest Preserve, and all the environmental volunteer stuff you do. All that work is also part of community building, which is the voluntary joining of efforts to make something better. Paid work places are a community unto themselves, which the feeling of membership in is hard to sustain once a person resigns or retires. But the voluntary things go a long way to build community. That and acceptance of our flawed selves and friends. Love you! xo


  2. Love this piece, Gayle. Thank you.

    A couple of thoughts: Just yesterday, I was talking with a group of long-time women friends, definitely a community. I mentioned (again!) my sense of wanting what might be called a “community with a shared purpose”.

    Unlike you, I guess, I found that in the political movements of the ’60s and ’70s, living communally, sharing stories in a women’s consciousness raising group, working and marching together against the war and on various other political issues. Also dancing. Lots of dancing! And beaches. . . because sharing houses and cars and childcare and even our money. . . and also because housing and other basics were so cheap. . . . we didn’t have to work that much in order to live well. We had a whole lot more time to play, dance, go to the beach on hot days (like this one!), than is true for folks today. Play is good for community building, as you point out.

    This feeling of love and support for one another did begin to change for me as the movement and its communities became smaller and more isolated from other communities, lines were more and more drawn between right and wrong, us and them, “pure” and “flawed”. But I think that until I retired, I have been fortunate to have landed in communities of purpose my whole life–as a revolutionary, a social worker (especially during the AIDS years), and even as a mother, interacting day after day with a group of people who became friends as we worked to together to make the world a better place for ourselves, our families and all beings.

    Now I live alone, no longer go off to work, have no young child for whom I responsible. I’m not sure that I would call it loneliness. In one sense I have many communities, feel supported by many friends with whom I stay connected on Facebook and as much as possible face to face. But still. . .like you. . .looking for the feeling of community I used to enjoy.

    One other thing my friends pointed out yesterday was the difference between living in a small town and a city. Two of my friends used to live in Oakland and Berkeley, but now live in rural areas where they see friends from their small towns every time they go shopping or to the doctor. Everybody knows everybody, which I used to think would be terribly boring and lacking in privacy, but now see that it can have its advantages as well. My friends from Southern Humboldt and Montana have found that building a community of shared purpose was easier in a place that, because of its size, was already a community of shared place. Maybe you’ve experienced this in the Delta?


    1. Yes, exactly Anita. I do experience “community” every time I visit the Delta. I always feel like welcome visitor, but only as a friend of the community, not a member. I can see how rubbing up against each other closely as they do in an extremely small town (population about 70), polishes one’s edges and one learns to accept and sometimes even celebrate differences, sharing the good and bad times.

      It’s the “daily-ness of community that I have never felt like I’ve really had — the experience of your friends in Montana and Humboldt. I’m not always at every moment lonely, and I didn’t mean to imply that. Mostly I am just alone, and when I am feeling physically and emotionally well, and have a project or two in hand, and manage to get out at least once in the day to experience human contact and hopefully human engagement, I am fine. But all those criteria are not always at play, so loneliness is a not infrequent visitor. I have no idea what to do about it, other than see it, acknowledge the truth of it, have compassion for myself and the millions of others who are in a similar or worse situation, and keep doing what I do to experience as much joy, beauty, and connection as I can. You are indeed fortunate to have had that rich young adulthood of a community of friends who shared your political views and activities who you have continued over these many years to be in intermittent active community with, plus having that boyfriend of yours (albeit long distance), as an ongoing relationship and travel-mate. Pretty cool.


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