Truth Be Known

My recent blog hiatus started, perhaps, because of an overload in the online world: Insults, cyclic arguments, disappointments, etc..

It continued because of an all-consuming project that I'm working on.

It was then compounded by some interpersonal shit going on in the intentional community that I live in (yes, I'm that kind of dyke) that has occupied whatever consciousness was left in me.

It's nothing personal. I don't hate you or anything. In fact, I kind of miss you.

I'm currently engaged in the kind of shit that gives intentional community a bad name, but truly, my time living in intentional community has been nothing but expansive for me -- even this apparent struggle between people who want to keep on keeping their agreements, and a person who doesn't.

A lot of people blanch when I speak of living, on purpose, with other adults who are not my spouse. The very words "intentional community" can conjure up for them visions of endless meetings, constant processing, and most people associate it with a loss of personal space.

That's not been my experience. In the main.

The past few weeks have been a sticky bit, though (and not in the enjoyable "sticky bits" sense of the phrase). I've watched someone with whom I've lived for five years go from "I need to do something else," to "You're bad, and that's why I'm leaving" in the space of a few weeks.

It's not that uncommon, and truth be known, I have compassion for the individual. Leaving is hard, even when it may be the perfect thing for all involved.

In our culture, I think that we're not really trained in the fine art of ending something.

The cultural ideal of nearly everything is that, if it's good, it must continue forever. Relationships are valued mostly for their longevity, regardless of the quality of the time together. So it is that we celebrate 50th wedding anniversaries in a sense of awe and wonder, even if the couple involved has been barely tolerating one another for the past 40 years, and have only the TV remote in common.

Don't get me wrong -- I like things that last. I treasure my oldest, bestest friend of (counting on fingers) . . . . wow! 30 years!

However, I think that there are some things that are not meant to last forever, and I think most people in our culture don't know how to handle it when that becomes apparent -- so they work hard to make the "other" wrong (even if they've been with the other for years or decades), because this makes it easier to part.

I feel sad about that bit. The person who is leaving my community seems busy re-writing history, when only a few months ago, he was misting up at a community-meeting, talking about how much having community had meant to him.
I honestly don't mind that he's going. I'm just not enjoying (at the moment) how he's going.

So that's where my head has been these past few weeks. In meetings. In communications. In cleaving to my own principles while someone else acts out in what I perceive is an unprincipled way.

It's taken a lot of energy, and if you have a prayer/good thought/some energy to direct this way, I'd appreciate it.

In many ways, I see this microcosmic event in my community as reflective of much of what I'm seeing in the larger culture -- the apparent dichotomy of principles versus practicality, the seeming rift between the physical and the spiritual, and the dissonance that is created when some people wish to move toward a greater functionality and sustainability, while others want to maintain the status quo.

Lessons, lessons, who's got the lessons? I do. I'm glad to have them.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:10 PM  


Anonymous said... February 28, 2008 at 2:01 PM  

In our culture, I think that we're not really trained in the fine art of ending something.

I am constantly amazed at how strongly indoctrinated I am into this ... despite having convictions to the contrary.

My favorite way to combat these feelings ... is to contemplate the Mandala. Those beautiful works of art, made with sand. And once completed ... they are simply swept up. Its a powerful exercise in ending something beautiful. The mind bender, is to project the obvious wisdom of seeking beauty and significance in "the now" ... to daily life.

Perhaps if I wore a saffron robe?


pidomon said... February 28, 2008 at 4:41 PM  

Nik.E.Poo stole your words that I stole
not really trained in the fine art of ending something

I think (surprise I know) that when things come to an end it's because someone is "wrong".

you wronged me I wronged you etc there must BLAME.

The best break up I ever had was with Christine.

She lived in Laurel, I in Timonium about 30 miles away. Not that far really.

But we both became stubborn.

I wouldn't drive there nor she here.

We talked every night on the phone, said the requisite "I love You's" etc.

And after about 6 weeks one night I said (in all sincerity) "I think we've stopped dating"

And she agreed. Then we said our I love you's and talked again the next night and the night after and now are great friends.

I gots positive energy to spare for you Portly and sending it your way.

katecontinued said... February 28, 2008 at 4:50 PM  

I am sorry for the turmoil this chapter brought you. This is a very wise description of how ending happens. I would passionately like to know myself how to be good at katecontinued instead of longing to be a katemastered. The buoyancy of losing should have as much relevance as the tragedy of loss. I agree with you that we aren't taught how to end things well.

Nik.E.Poo, I am seriously thinking of dressing myself as my own priestess. PD, maybe like my alter ego?

Brave Sir Robin said... February 29, 2008 at 6:32 AM  

Portly, you just keep amazing me. You just have a way of seeing through the baggage and bullshit, and narrowing things down to the essence of it.

Even when it's apparent to all involved it should end, doing it and being happy for what was good in it just seems beyond our grasp. Certainly it's beyond mine.

Thanks, you've given me a direction for my thought today, just when I needed them.

And trust me, there are loads of good thoughts and karma headed your way.

NameChanged said... February 29, 2008 at 9:04 AM  

You always seem to say what I wish I could say were I more articulate. Thank you Portly!

And sending some positive vibes your way.

No, not those kind. ;)

mouthybitch said... March 2, 2008 at 8:20 PM  

There has been a lot of unpleasant stuff floating around, both in rl and in the blogosphere, and it becomes difficult to process it all. Be well, Portly.

The art of leaving, in my perception, is as much the act of knowing yourself and your commitment to principles (because leaving is the time it is easiest to really be cruel) and the time when it becomes most apparent what the experience meant (though usually after some introspection.) If I had to say what to do, I would say that having an alone sit-down and examining the bonds which are being dissolved is a most excellent response. (It also gives you some head-space so that you aren't super involved as you detangle yourself.)

Be well.

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