If the lock-down ends on the 3rd of December, these are the last days we are spending in Moncalvo. But nobody knows. Some of us are caught in a constant incertitude about the very next future, trying to understand where is the limit between the gravity of the general threat to health and the threat inflicted to our freedom of movement, exploration and connection. For now we are still here.
Yesterday K. proposed to the rest of us a walk and a workshop on ‘Reading the Landscape’, a general guideline to a more in depth understanding of the PLACE. Where are we? During the workshop each one of us shared what makes their own birth place unique. We traveled through the memory of everyone’s places, from the lake in Patagonia and the rootless city, to the stream of the house in the Pyrenees, from the Slovakian communist building blocks, to the sea side town next to Rome, with rusty billboards all around and planes over the head, from the pear tree out of the window of the hilly Piedmont country side, to the dutch house close to the lake, looking at the deer across the yard.
We went for a walk as sun was going down, climbing up in the hill, in the midst of the forests to feel the different kind of flora layers, fast enough through the bushes to spot the sun before it would go behind the mountain line of the Alps. Once on top of the hill, there was a filling calm in me, and when the cold was getting more intense, as we were going down the hill, we played, running down the hill, trying to catch each other, with wild loud noises and laughter of freedom and joy.
At evening we had a soup and then we randomly started an improvised theater sketch of the meetings that we have and that at time become overwhelming. We started to get silly and exaggerate all the personality traits that come up in the meetings we have. It was fun! I would love to have more and more of these moments of playing life instead of being really involved into what is going on. It also gives a different ironic perspectives on issues that we tend to take too seriously at times.
After the little theater improvisation, somebody put music on, we started silly, sensual, fun and ridiculous dances which kept on for the rest of the evening. We are still in the country side and night here comes pretty early also for party nights, at 10pm we were all in beds.
Two days ago we started to cover of straw, the land that L. intends to use to grow a food forest. Today the rest of the group finished the work. During our staying here in Moncalvo we also started the permaculture vegetable garden for next spring and we cleaned up the orchard, in which plum and apple trees are already planted. With the apples from this autumn collection, we made some liters of apple juice with a manual press tool that L.’s uncle used to make cider. For the moment, since winter is approaching, there is lesser and lesser work to do in the fields. What we do quite a lot in the meantime, is to discuss the vision. We talked for example about introducing animals in the farm of the community. Overall the group does not counter having animals but is not in support of it either. So either some people would take it in charge and do it on a small scale or it is not really something that Magari as a community would want to engage itself into also for ethical reasons. Other discussion of the kind took place to understand each other’s point of view in different sphere and interests of our lives. All these discussions should be taken forward with a bigger group as soon as we can have the space and time to dedicate to these topics together.
Another thing we are trying to set up in these days is the meeting routine and structure. We are really in an experimental phase, as I mentioned before sometime meetings might feel overwhelming. At first to try to react to the ‘meeting fatigue’ of having meetings that were too long, we made the decision of starting each day with a 1 hour of facilitated meeting in which we have a check in, a round to share your own plan for the day, the space and time to discuss the points in the agenda for the day, and finally to have a round to give a feedback on how the meeting felt.
At first it felt really too much to have meetings every morning at 9:30. But after the first week of trial of the new format to bring on the decision making processes, we figured it is working better and better. We also decided to have once per week, a morning dedicated to talk about more emotional matters, try to solve eventual conflicts or resentments. It will be interesting to see if these models are accepted and functional for a bigger group as well.
Outside is sunny, and in the office room the sun does not arrive yet, so it’s pretty cold here as I’m writing. I need to go outside :) And for now I feel I shared with you what I could about this time here in Moncalvo.
Talk to you soon,
Tight hugs to you all.