a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

moving * changing * being

by Tao, Carrboro

I apologize for my sparse posts over the past few weeks, but I’ve been busy with a plan. Here’s where it all began…

I sometimes have wondered if I’m addicted to Change. I’ve moved around a lot – at times for no apparent reason (though I had several unapparent reasons at the time). It often was triggered by a life change, but more accurately, it felt like a voice whispering in my ear – “go…grow….” Even in – or maybe especially in – trying circumstances, the voice was insistent and the path appeared obvious. Sometimes the “plan” incubated and hatched slowly and carefully and other times it felt more like I turned around and bumped right into it.

Although every new situation had its share of perfections and imperfections, what I remember most is the thrill of newness and the opportunity to recreate myself and my life within that place. Looking back, it all seemed simple and easy – leave here, go there, change this, do that.

But this has been different. Almost 5 years ago, we landed in a place of both sanctuary and community in co-housing, a country setting in an urban area – the best of both worlds, as I often described it. So, the messages we had both been hearing baffled me at first. I thought I’d found my utopia of living small and contained. Then, it hit me – I was living small and contained. It was time to think big again…

This plan has been nagging at both of us for about a year and for the first time, I had tried vehemently to ignore it. But messages from the Universe can be darn loud. No matter how “comfortable” I thought I was, there seemed to be a next thing waiting for us and it became more clear as I made space for the vision. It spoke of another way to commune, to live efficiently and sustainably and to be involved, to share with others what I knew and to learn from them what I yet did not know.

Creato-CommunoSo, we’re moving into an older and bigger house in our downtown area. There are already several urban farmers in the ‘hood and we hope to learn some tricks of the trade from them. There will be 4 of us living in this house, including a longtime friend who is leaving his job and moving back from Chicago. The bad news about an old house is that you need to repair and replace, but the good news about this is that you can get the latest efficient energy systems and take advantage of some significant rebates/tax credits. We’re going to green up the hvac system, install on-demand water heater and insulate the attic. We also found a wood-burning stove insert for the fireplace that can heat 2300sq.feet. Granted, the numbers have to work out for this to happen in the scheme of buying and selling, but sometimes, the Universe helps with that part, too.

But it’s my soul was searching for more than a more green footprint. My housemates and I began to brainstorm about our plan to build community and relationships while nourishing our own creativity.  Jerry and James will be continuing to grow their work in filming and editing now in a more conducive work space for screening – Jerry has been focusing on local music videos. There will be a band using the garage for rehearsal. We I’m going to once again have my own studio space for yoga classes, practice groups and yoga therapy. Since we have a front, sunny room (with lots of outlets!) we hope to co-office with friends and new neighbors. After all, more people working and hanging together means keeping the wood-burning stove going with less work, a steady source of inspiration and movtivation and in general, a lot more fun.

What do you think? A logical way to get more out of community life? We’re not, of course, the first people to think of it – check out this recent NYTimes article about this growing trend.

Whew. The moving truck just left. Now the real fun begins. I’ll keep you posted.

2 Responses to “moving * changing * being”

  1. Jolly ROger Says:

    Yes, I, too, will miss visiting the idyllic setting of Arcadia, the inviting paths, and profuse flower gardens. Although I never knew any other residents, I know it’s a huge effort to co-ordinate a community logistically and with consensus.
    Also, the vision of up-fitting an older home can be a limitless, although costly endeavor. But, it can be a model to others saying, See it can be DONE!!! Truth be known, many of us have visions of alternative house, “living systems,” that incorporate a range of low and hi-tech energy applications, and creative land-use options.
    The challenge might be not to fill up the space with stuff, just because there is more space. Having seen the new home, in it’s raw state, I can appreciate the challenge, and look forward to seeing the process. Hope I can help at some point!!!

  2. phyllisdiehl Says:

    i hope this home will bring you and your family happiness and a good purpose. a purpose to provide community people to join you in teaching about living green i want and wish your new home to be a home of love, caring, teaching, laughter, and warmth. i wish your new home to provide all that you need and you can “hunker” down and enjoy…..

    best wishes on this new home….and may your wishes come true….

    p.s. oops forgot to add, your home should have music!!!!!

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