It was over a dozen years ago that Acorn agreed to permit the Heartwood Living Room be used for the office for the seed business. [Heartwood is the main residence and office building of Acorn]. The occupation was supposed to be for no more than a year. We have just started moving things out this week. But what is happening in that wildly unplanned anarchist way that Acorn is famous for, is this beautiful space is becoming a living room again.
The foosball table is playing in the background as i write this post. Otter (in the brown shirt in the picture above) is so good at foosball he can beat two opponents each playing with both hands, while he is playing with just one hand. But the foosball table just sort of landed in the Heartwood LR and it is a pretty high impact device, and perhaps not with the mood of the rest of the space, we will see if it lasts.
What is a bit hard to see in the above picture is Jared is weaving a broken umbrella skeleton with multicolored yarn. When i mentioned to him it was going to leak he shot back at me in full deadpan “it’s not finished”. Jason who is in this picture also but you can see his smile is helping to set up the digital projector so the videos can show up on the newly painted wall.
There are over a dozen people around for the videos. There are political ones depicting staged news shows on CNN and libertarian ones on how we are enslaved to the government. But most of them are funny. Monkey on the back of a pig, HeMan says Hey, some unbelievable and somewhat uncomfortable Russian contortionist dances singing and dancing to Stalin’s Egg Salad.
Communities create culture and open spaces within communities invite activities. This space returning to it’s living room function after so many years begs the question “What do we do in this living room, that we have not had before?” Some of it is similar to what happens already often in the smoke shack (without the smoking, so it is accessible to more people). That being the friendly curious conversation which is at some points light and breezy and at others intense and deep or funny and uproarious. But we dont show videos in the smoke shack and we cant comfortably fit so many people and there certainly is not a foosball table. New spaces create new possibilities and Acorn feels rich tonight for this return of social space.
And my overall experience of the evening is one of joy. There are all these wonderful Acorners, plus a merry collection of guests and interns, kicking back after what for most was a long day of moving (we brought in the new convection oven today and moved most of the seed picking room to the new building), cleaning and order processing as the seed business busy season starts.
The title to this blog is not just about reclaiming the living room. We are shifting operations into the new seed building which is actually being completed ahead of the schedule we set 3 months back. Part of what this means is the seed picking room is moving and two residential rooms will freed up. Tomorrow we will talk about pulling commie clothes out of the van and car that they are currently in and put them in the old seed picking office which has just emptied.
As an expansionist, it is hard to get me to agree to giving up premium quality bedrooms for almost anything. But commie clothes is not almost anything. It is in my mind one of the most successful sharing experiments the communes engage in. And what also feels true for the moment at least is that we are space rich.