Sunflowervillager's Blog

Growing into community

The stress you risk by wanting a different world as a poor person August 31, 2011

Filed under: economy,risk,solidarity,wage — Saera @ 7:50 am

After I read Walden Two, I gave it to Daniel to read. We talked a fair bit about intentional communities over the past couple of weeks. We came to the conclusion that to really move the Sunflower Village Initiative forward, we need to develop a village. This will allow us to demonstrate that a solidarity-oriented village can work. It will give us credibility with individuals, families, other intentional communities, donors, and other interested parties. While this plan makes sense to me, its implications for my personal life are somewhat mixed. On the one hand, it is bringing the village back to a very personal level for me: I can move forward on creating a village for me personally to live in. On the other hand, I am unsure of how to best make my living in the mean time.I had planned to develop SVI to the point that I could hire myself and then others to work on the project full and part time.

My personal situation lately has been feeling rather desperate. While I was in India, finances became very difficult and complicated for Daniel and myself. As I had difficulty finding a compatible job after my return, I didn’t find work until late July. Between Daniel’s hard work and my position as a nanny with a new family, it seemed that we were about to stabilize financially. Unfortunately, the physical challenges of Daniel’s work have led to some chronic health difficulties, and he hasn’t been able to work much lately. Additionally, we have had to spend some money on doctors fees. I’m not looking for sympathy or advice on the work situation here. It’s just that this is the nitty gritty reality of what goes on when you’re poor and idealistic in America. I feel frustrated that, finally having got together enough income between the two of us to start attacking our mountain of bills and debt, a source of income has been reduced by the way that income is gained. This is the sort of cyclical expletive garbage that makes me just want to quit America. I couldn’t sleep this morning I felt so stressed from trying to figure out how to deal with this cycle of poverty and work conditions. That kind of stress is one of the most ignored effects of poverty and one of the grinding and degrading conditions I hope for villages to eradicate.

Personally, I’m nauseous from work where either I sit on my hands and do almost nothing, or grind my body through repetitive and numbing actions, and at the end of the day, I still don’t know how two people working a total of at least 70 hours a week are going to pay for basic necessities, let alone attack the debt. One of the things I thought about yesterday was carpentry. It’s a possibility I come back to from time to time when I feel frustrated by school or idle work. I looked up carpentry in Massachusetts. The union offers training… which takes four years. I found that upsetting, like I should have listened to myself and quit college for technical school years ago. Here I am, with a degree, and still no jobs I want, except to ddvelop and run the Sunflower Village Initiative. Had I gone for a carpentry apprenticeship, I could be making money and building a village.

But there’s no changing that now. But I’m feeling a little calmer and, after writing all of this, my headache is gone. Because I’ve decided what I’m going to do. I’m not going to set an order, because all of these things need to move forward and all need current attention. So, starting with the most personal:

I need a new job, or at least a second job. I need to make more money, and far more reliably too. I need to work towards making enough money that it doesn’t matter if Daniel works or not: for now so that he can quit a job that is literally, according to doctors, wearing his body out, and for later, so that he can fully focus on school. In other words, I need to make a grown-up’s salary.

I need to actively form an intentional community. I have already put out feelers to a few people whom I think it would be great to start a village with. If you want to build a village with me, in all seriousness, let me know.

I’m going to continue working towards making SVI a tangible reality that can pay. This is the job that I truly want, and no one is making it but me. Maybe I could have gone about this differently, but I’m almost 27 and it’s time to act on what I’ve done, not what I might have done.

 

Answers February 25, 2010

Filed under: anthropology,geography,Ikeda,redetermination,risk — Saera @ 1:14 am

Wow, this makes me feel like I’m getting in rhythm, especially given yesterdays’ events.

“Let’s continue to meet,
converse and establish
heart-to-heart bonds with
as many people as possible.
Our efforts to expand dialogue
is a struggle to spread trust and
friendship in society.”
– Daisaku Ikeda.

Similarly, I opened up the March-April Living Buddhism this morning and Sensei’s writing heard my soul’s cry!

 

Note to self – thanks to April D. September 30, 2009

Filed under: community structure,interconnected,risk — Saera @ 10:29 pm

Self: Look at this more when you have time:

“People are always more than just one thing. I may be a drunk and also a musician or a talented painter. Communities working to get stronger will not buy the deficiency view that any person is only a negative label with nothing to offer. Communi ty builders are determined to find what else a person is, what he or she has to contribute.” – Mike Green, When People Care Enough to Act, p.36

 

Landlessness and wage-bonds September 23, 2009

Filed under: economy,land,landlessness.,marx,organization,risk,slavery,wage — Saera @ 4:09 am

Long week… already, catching up from being sick
not just from school, but that, yes, always that, doing what I can, and communicating like crazy, to profs, TAs, SGI people.
Still not caught up with myself. Got to do some dishes after finishing homework tonight, and yeah, I said *got* to and meant it. Thank goodness Daniel did the laundry. We’re both running hard and doing all we can, and our lives are becoming ever more gargantuan.

Lots of things I want to write about – my connect/disconnect to Marx, marxism, labor. My passion for Upton Sinclair. Thinking about economy and organization of labor. Reconsidering my approaches.

There are two bandages that hold us in thrall, physically in this society.

(I know there are others, many others, in spiritual, intellectual, other areas, I know, know too that they are all interconnected, but I have a PoinT here… that is to say, there are two bondages)

There are two bondages: Being, still, after milennia, the landless peasantry, the land ripped away from us (ill-ly)legally….( we, the working class, the producers, the makers of vitals or the chain of people who get them from the makers to You, consumer.) In short: we rent, we do not own our castles, our abodes where we may at last have our Say. I rent, so I do not define my own space, except on the surface, my trappings, my coverings, things I bring every place I live to remind-pretend that this is not someone else’s. I doubt again that I will grow corn next spring or summer, and who knows if/when ever I’ll get that cat door. Because it is not something I really have a say over. So, the bondage that I rent, that I am landless, like every lowest class. And there abounds the myth that there is not class in *America. So, the idea, the revolutionistic desire that once again, we should have an abode, for us, not for the profit of another, but a place to finally hang our hat at the end of the day and not worry whether the second bondage threatens us in the security of our sleep.

The second bondage: to work filling the pockets of others to bursting, and not being able to tell whether we fill ours just enough to eat, to sedate ourselves a little into acceptance, or whether we are actually benefiting from the arrangement, making progress towards freedom from the first bondage or following dreams or saving the world or merely having a fulfilling occupation. Yes, that second bondage is, (and I *will* be so bold as to thank Marx for this line) the slavery of wage…. that endless work that we too often cannot tell what happens to, who it benefits, if it is what we are told it is. Is this the best we have to offer? Too many inconsistencies, and always this cycle of how much do we risk to speak up to appease our angry sense of justice , how much do we live with in order that we may attempt to someway, somehow, accomplish our nobler ends? The means ARE connected, invariably to the ends. There must be better means, or our ends are sure to haunt us as tainted. To which solution, then do I dare?

I don’t know yet… again, more research, more dialogue, more experimentation and self-delving.

Again, and more. A few snippets of new connections, fresh determination, I leave here tonight. There is certainly more whirling around, but tomorrow has, again, many demands.

 

At my workplace today. September 12, 2009

Filed under: marx,risk,wage — Saera @ 7:32 pm

People are protesting John Mackey’s op ed piece on healthcare. There’s regional people and cops everywhere, and customers bashing or ignoring protesters and I’m trying to watch my mouth and it all makes me nauseous and all I can think of is how little the US has progressed in terms of labor, and Upton Sinclair and Howard Zinn and what freedom of speech really means.