I like it very much when one of my more philosophical buddies decides to utter, “that was quite a community event”, and lets out a wry grin with a chuckle. He uses it to describe a very touching emotion for me. It’s the discontent, and emotional satisfaction that comes from exposing others to our sense of community. This process thrills me to no end. I love to stand in a yard, and point at the houses around me spouting off the people who live there, what, how, and who, they are to anybody, in order to share the feeling. I just did it here. That’s the treasure of community to me, how it can be told in a story, passed in a drink, and given freely with glee.
People from outside the experience (at OCF we call this the “unfair world”) are surprised and thrilled to witness it. A chain of people linked by years of volunteering together perpetuating a cycle of community involvement on a grand scale. Economics becomes linked with the neighborhoods, the local businesses, and the people. It’s a beautiful thing this sense of place. I write about it now because I know that finding something as unique as the group of people I can work with here, will be a challenge for me.
Reclamation secrets are hard to come by. They take time and patient observations of neighborhoods. Regular scouring of Craigslist can net good stuff, but I like to hold it in my hand, and quickly decide if it fits my fancy. I’ve been in one of the most pro-active recycling communities on the planet for so long, I don’t even need to look for the stuff at times. Calls come in about a tree somewhere across town that’s coming down, or a site of imminent demolition. I can say yes or no. I know where the city dumps its big rounds of firewood after the tree comes down, so if nobody else gets it on the street, I can pick it up at my leisure.
I love the idea of developing new systems for being pro-active with my reclamation. The biggest trick I’ve found is asking people for their trash. I’ll have to upgrade my delivery of these requests. I remember the last time I lived elsewhere, the available materials were close to none. The dump was lame and expensive. Didn’t even have a wood recycling business in the town. Maybe I should just drop the whole thing like a hot rock, and go for materials that are everywhere, like dirt…or work primarily on selling everything I’ve reclaimed so far.
Online communities bring up some similar feelings for me. It’s easy to get what I want when I have a huge base of people to call on. I did this with my last two postings, and I got exactly what I wanted. If it matters enough to you, ask for it, and “Viola!” it appears. A fascinating prospect. It’s surreal, effective, awkward, and new.
It has no limit. An endless cycle of unification. What is the symbol of community? When did the word get created? What was its first definition? I should look it up in other languages. Find out what it means in Chinese. That one is going to be fun, and deeper than my current perceptions. I bet it’s got a nice star on the Visual Thesaurus. Now I’m gonna go do that. Excitedly farewell.