A culture of invitation

My first impression is that the most important difference between Acorn and Twin Oaks is that here at Acorn there is a more robust culture of invitation.  Part of this is people socializing in the living room off the dining space all during the day.  Also there are comfortable and inviting social scenes in the farm house, yellow living room (also off the kitchen), and in the smoke shack.  There are often people to hang out with in any of these places.  After a full day of seed picking today, i hung out in the smoke shake and we listened to Terrance McKenna audios files, which was both entertaining and thought provoking.

But equally important is the ability to plug in at anytime to the work situation; you can see if there are a bunch of seeds orders which need to be shipped and you can ship them.   Other people are doing it, you can join them – especially if they are people you like.  The living rooms of the main residence (Heartwood) have been taken over by the seed business as have a couple of bedrooms.  Living or eating in the main building means the work situation is around you all the time, always beckoning.

making it just fit

making it just fit

And this is mostly a young community, with well over half the members under 30 years of age [in contrast about 1/4 of Twin Oakers are under 30, excluding kids].  So there is a fair amount of internet time spent social networking and playing.  And there is parallel work: people watching a football game and shipping an order, Mac listening to “A Game of Thrones” audio book and doing data entry. So the entire line between labor creditable work and socializing and recreation is slightly blurred.  Add to this what i call “soft quota”, where the community does not generally track the labor of the members and there is an expectation that they will make about 42 hours a week in labor creditable activities, based on their own estimation of their labor.  [In contrast, Twin Oaks has hard quota, where you track and report your hours, they are applied to various budgets, you need to make quota on average and you need to do it in approved budgets.  You can run afoul of the community by being below quota or by over spending budgets.]

The flexibility is very comfortable for me (even though during the visitor period I do have to keep track of my hours). But quota is never my problem.

mac and cat drawing

Mac and Cat drawing – circa 2013 Drawing by Charles Kent

Part of my euphoria about being here is influenced by honeymooning with Mac.  With whom i had this revealing conversation the other day:

Paxus:  So your friend is coming and i thought we should decide if I am going to be with you two, or perhaps for part of the time and if it might be better early in her visit, …

Mac: What are you doing?

Paxus: Planning.

Mac: Why?  She will be here, you will be here, if we hang out great, if we don’t great.  Why are you trying to plan?

i didn’t have a good reason, except my programming.  i am being invited to think differently.