Tag Archive | transparency

Acorn brings the Party

The sign of a culturally rich community is that there are more things happening than there is time to do them all.  This often happens around evening events and parties at Acorn and Twin Oaks.  And tonight there was a transparency group at Acorn, while there was also a dance party at Twin Oaks.

KeithHaringDanceParty5I

We tried to get out of the transparency group early – but there were all these interesting new people and early became after 9:30 PM.  But a bunch of people still wanted to go, so we hopped into a minivan and a Dharma Bum‘s car.  And walked in and only the DJ was dancing and the dance floor was nearly empty.

Dharma Bums band comes out of the Omega Institute in NY

Dharma Bums band comes out of the Omega Institute in NY

But we brought 13 people and started a bit of dancing.  Half an hour later, Twin Oaks visitors disappointed by the early ending of the original party came back and started dancing, as well as some members who heard rumor of the party restarting.   We had a crowded dance floor and the party was reborn.  Half an hour later the first shuttle went home. By midnight everyone was heading back to Acorn. Report backs were all positive, glad they went, got what they were looking for.

ilovedance

The funological principal here is if you have a dozen of the right/enthusiastic  people that you are adding to an event (even a near dead one), you can control the health of a party.

Aliens- The Truth- The New Activism Frontier

I believe in Aliens.

There I said it.

As you may know, I am pretty open about a wide-variety of things, including, but certainly not limited to my polyglamorous relationships, my obsession with twerking, and my desire for some radical heteronormativity in my life. (while of course still maintaining my polyglamorus status.)

I must come out of the space ship, although I hold some reservations about coming out of the space ship. I feel like I will be judged negatively and that the anti-nuclear activists and the communities movement will shun me, that I will have gone too “woo woo” or maybe people will think I’ve simply gone of my rocker. Perhaps if this was just a small part of me people would understand.

images

But, its not.

I think spreading the truth about Space Aliens and their involvement on earth is some of the most important activism we can do. I want to be the Chelsea Manning of Extra Terrestrials. The information NEEDS to be out there and people NEED to know that aliens are among us.

You may be thinking “wow paxus has finally snapped.” As if I haven’t already, excuse me.

The rest of you are thinking ” gee, I wonder why he thinks this.”

And a small number of you, the true truthers, are thinking “yes I believe too, please go on.”

I will gladly tell you the story of how I first became aware that Aliens are real AND living on planet Earth. I am especially excited because this is not one of the stories that I tell on loop at every event ever.

When I was in the Czech, protesting nukes, I met a women named Eleanora. Eleanora was, well, odd to say the least. Her diet is one example, she specifically like invertebrates. She always said in her weird, practically indistinguishable accent “It es so much easeiar to eat dah invertabras, you do not eben ned to peek meat off das bones! You jest squeese it out.” Of course I found it to be ridiculously adorable and we spent many nights together, discussing the protein humans are missing and how nukes may destroy the planet, you know, typical radical type stuff. Another odd thing, she introduced me to twerking, before twerking was a thing, she shared a great love for it.

One night we had plans to spend time together in one of the downtown areas of the czech, she called me and told me that she could not come out that night, she didn’t feel very well. She sounded like she had been crying and I asked her if maybe I could just come over instead. After some conversation she agreed.

When I got there she complained about feeling “allown on dis planet.” and feeling like “All the odders like me have jest given oop and become followers.” At first I thought this was just your typical activist breakdown. You know “The worlds gone mad! Nobody cares!”

But, I became fascinated about how often she used the terms “on dis planet!” and finally it escalated into her practically yelling “And dere destroying the galoxy for the rest of us!”

All the emotion faded from her face, realizing she had said a bit too much. I could see it in her face and me desiring transparency asked her to please explain herself. She took a deep breath and told me that she was a Extra Terrestrial from a somewhat nearby Solar System and that she was hear to try and stop humans from poisoning the universe. She said that her species is somewhat related to hers, but that they had blue hair and some other traits.

Suddenly it all made sense, why Eleanora was constantly buying brown hair dye, while being upset about using such nasty chemicals, and why we never played with her genitals. I didn’t complain because I rather enjoyed all the fellatio I was receiving.

How "in over my head" I felt about Eleanora after she first told me the truth.

How “in over my head” I felt about Eleanora after she first told me the truth.

This led to years and years of Eleanora introducing me to her underground ET politcal groups and explaining to me the various species of aliens, some being related to humans, some being shape shifters. Cats are aliens that take advantage of humans parental instincts.

Remember when I hitchhiked on boats?

Well the whole reason was so that I could get far enough out to sea so that I could get picked up by a spacecraft to and go visit Eleanoras family on the celebration of some religion from their planet.

Inflatable_aliens_at_Anonymous_protest

I have more information, but I have been to space and back multiple times since then.

This information needs to be out.

I know this is a lot to spring on all of you, but I swear it is all true. Its as true as my love for twerking.

Transparency is my favorite thing and this is no different.

Adieu.

Transparency Party

Several people have said the most useful piece of the Loud Love event was the transparency tools workshop.   i was powerfully reminded that while the tools are useful, what appears to be happening is that people are longing to be asked these revealing questions.  Given the smallest opportunity, most people will share deep feelings and vulnerable information about themselves, even with people they don’t know very well.

We have re-started the transparency group at Acorn.  There were a few people excited about it and a number of people who showed up when it happened who seemed to like it.  My original thought was that we should try to fuse Acorn’s more festive culture with this tool set and instead of having the classical, slightly formal transparency discussions, have transparency parties, where the format is more relaxed, less full group oriented with more smaller conversations.  Distracting food and drink could be part of it as well.

Picasso's girl in the mirror

Picasso’s girl before a mirror

Instead, at the first Acorn transparency event this year, we stuck to a more conventional format, with the group in a circle and a single person revealing themselves to everyone using several different tool sets.  And i was blown away again.

What was exciting for me was that one member of the group talked about their intense and difficult experience when they were young in urban gangs.  What was curious was i had actually heard this story from this person before, but i did not realize how big an identity piece it was for them.  How this violence had influenced their choice to leave their decaying urban center and ultimately settle into the commune sphere.  In the transparency context, i could connect the dots in a way i had not before.

let me see what is really inside you

let me see what is really inside you

We need another new word, it is the opposite of betrayal.  It is something more than just “bonding”.  What transparency groups do is build trust and connections.  i see it almost every time we do one.  i fear that this happens so rarely, that the need for these trust building experiences are not in sufficient demand.  if we are clever, we will change that.

Acorn Clearness

Twenty years ago. when the pioneers of Acorn were designing a different membership and decision making structure than the parent community Twin Oaks, they decided they wanted to create something called a clearness.  It is two distinct things actually – or perhaps most precisely two parts to the same clearing process.

The first part is a face to face conversation with  everyone who is a member of the community.  So for the last week or so i have been catching Acorners, going for walks, chatting while packing seeds, chatting over making dinner or quietly in someones room.  And with the exercise i finally learned all of the names of all of the members and the guests (because to a new person it is occasionally hard to tell who is who).  The purpose is for people to share concerns, specifically about my membership.  Overall, these were wonderful conversations in which genuine appreciation and what felt like quite transparent communication took place.

Some members were concerned that my motivations behind joining Acorn were indirect, in that i have been clear that part of my reason for wanting to be here is to work with Acorn on starting up Chubby Squirrels.  But to a member, these concerns were secondary to the nearly universal desire to expand the communities movement and specifically to strengthen the eco-system of income sharing intentional communities in central Virginia.

Ira said “I never know quite what you are doing.” To which i had to confess was my own experience with myself with quite some frequency.  “I have nothing to say to you, Paxus.” a generally taciturn Abe told me, followed by “and i mean that in the nicest way”

The second part of the clearness is everyone getting together in the dining room and talking about whether you would be a good fit in the community.  i had my community clearness and people were very friendly and supportive of both me and Acorn fostering the Chubby Squirrels project as well as my recent efforts in the picking room.  The facilitator started the round of check in’s with asking people what their favorite band was when they were 12.  The Beatles and In Sync both got more than one vote each.

The most common comment was

Several Acorners said “When i have just one call from jail, i am calling you.”

The last community meeting Acorn will have about my provisional membership will be the Sunday after this one in which the community will meet without me and make a decision if i can join.  Given what people said in the meeting which just took place, it is unlikely a hidden concern will derail my effort to become a dual member.  And as several people jokingly reminded me, these types of last minute concerns do pop up.

There is virtually no paper used in the Acorn clearness process.

There is virtually no paper used in the Acorn clearness process.

The clearness process is a sister to the transparency work i have already been doing, but is clearly something which i would mimic in a membership process for a new consensus based community.

When i told Angie there were no real concerns about my potential impact on the community, her reply was “they are not paying careful enough attention.”