Monday, April 2, 2012

on carpooling and community

This weekend I spent approximately 110 miles with my self and the road beneath my wheels.  It was nice to have the time alone - to think and to mull over ideas for a play I'm thinking of for the next year or two of RTRT*.  But I missed the opportunity for conversation. Generally, Darlin' Man and I carpool (or else I snag rides from our housemates, or is that homesteadmates?).  Living so far out of town, it only makes sense to minimize on our use of gas - both for its emissions and its cost.  This means that I get to slowly, and gradually (much to the early bird dismay of the darlin' man, but thankfully with his help and support) realign my nightowl self to a schedule of going to bed early, and rising even earlier.  I tell myself this is a good thing.
 But we once again have two working vehicles!  We recently bought his folks' old pickup - it may be a GMC, but it has a back seat, a long bed, great towing power, and super amazing highbeams.

 So this weekend, he was able to go to his Clucking Blossom (free community music and amazingness event) planning meeting  before his Saturday performace, six hours before I was planning on being in town.  And I was able on Sunday to leave for my *ahem * romance novel book club, a couple hours before he had to be in town, and come home something like 8 hours before he was done with strike for his show.  It is certainly a luxury to be able to do things and go places all by myself, without having to account for, in minute detail, the schedule of another person - much less two or three (don't get me started on the days when we have only had one functioning car for three or four people!)  There's always the fossil fuel guilt.

But what I really realized this weekend, in a more experiential way than I have before (in my analytically intellectual way), is the loss of community and personal connection we have in our society's one car and one cell phone per person mobile 24/7 lifestyle.  When we carpool, we are both continually engaged in compromise, and in the practice of consideration.  If we had carpooled, for instance, on Saturday; I would have had incidental conversations with the people he's organizing Clucking Blossom with - many of them good friends I rarely see.  I would have spent time on the internet, catching up on the six or so blog entries I've started and not finished (we don't have the internets at home).  Raif would have gotten to see and say hi to some of my friends he rarely gets to see.  I would have helped out at the local community theatre...  Many and different social contacts and help in shared endeavors would have occurred in

On the other hand, I would have lost out on about 12 hours of being at the homestead, and cultivating within myself and our home the home-centered lifestyle I aspire to.

It is something I have more to say on, and which I frequently think about - though really, having bought the homestead, we're pretty much committed to our choice - this duality between hermit and community, between independence and interdependence.  Writing this, I realize that the concept of the frontier is really at the nexus of interaction of these concepts...

In other news: I made a warm cabbage salad for dinner last night that is a very close and very good! approximation of the gourmet warm cabbage salad at a local 'really nice' restaurant.  I'm quite pleased with it.  Red cabbage, toasted walnuts, crisp bacon, and soaked raisins sauteed in olive oil with a vinagrette.  I ate mine with blue cheese and red wine.  It was so so good!

... was that a ramble or was that a ramble?  I do have more focused posts in my head!  I promise...

*the Darlin' Man tends to choose indie hip-hop and spoken word rap when I might otherwise prefer bluegrass....

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