musings on community

Thought rambling warning!

This year festival sparked a lot of musing about community for me. Then, as I mentioned earlier, I am reading the Lonely American, which is about feeling disconnected, why and what to do about it. My vacation and my reading are mixing in my brain and generating lots of hmmms.

Festival is a very large, [for us in this country used to small groups], short term, incredibly diverse community. It is self policing. It has community goals. It's diverseness makes it very broad in scope I think, it can be many different things to many people.

The book is a fascinating read about how our biological [almost cellular] bent toward community is in constant conflict with our almost subconscious ideals of independence and self reliance. It also details how just the perception of being 'left out' make stunning changes to both our thoughts and our behaviors.

I think of myself as being fairly relationally oriented. I do give attention to and work on my relationships. However I am lousy at staying in contact with my family, who I moved away from when I was only 20. I have several solitary activities that I enjoy very much. Once again I am surprising myself. How well do I actually know this person that I have lived with all my life? How good am I at compromising with those I dislike? Do I feel disconnected sometimes and do I then withdraw to avoid feeling the discomfort? Do I act without thinking sometimes if I feel left out? And then the kicker for me...what stories do I tell myself about my connection or lack thereof.

I don't really have a lot of conclusions yet... but I see in me the person who shrinks or lashes out from simply perceived feelings of being ignored, even though I remind myself everyday to not take things personally. We are all the centers of our own universes. And I know rationally just how busy everyone else is...we are all juggling too much. [and not getting enough vacations]

It so pervasive in our culture, it's a bit freakish to me. I need to absorb this new information and see what pops out. Go hug someone eh? Even if it's just a beautiful tree.


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