The art of community…
I had breathing room today. Perhaps for the first time in months.
My own symptoms of body weakness, fluctuating temperature, and headache, present for the last few days, seems to have passed.
The crowdfunding initiative launched just a few days ago and not yet broadly promoted has returned over $10,000. Running payroll today for a schedule mostly filled by partners new to my care, came in at about 50% of the cost that it was at this time last year.
— On that point. I’m currently paying these beloved friends near minimum wage, something I can be comfortable with by virtue of the demands of the moment and the various austerity conditions flowing through the world right now. In contrast, recognizing these critical service efforts is something that I return again and again to as a place we must insist on finding not just a minimum, but at very least, a living wage.
With 18 contributors, I’ve now had the great privilege of spending over two hours in the last two days just thanking people for stepping forward and offering their care and support.
For the first time in months, I can feel a sense of ground under my feet, not just the firm hands of those few and close loving souls attempting to slow my fall, but actual ground. A sense of community, and network of support with care running not just to me, but through a meshwork of relationships and love.
Today I set appointments with clients, followed up on clerical matters with the bank and business partners, managed home healthcare concerns and team schedule, followed up with accounting and other miscellaneous debris, not unfamiliar to my efforts over the past months.
Today was different in one critical way. On the advice of my good friend Tyler, I spent a little time editing out some video clips, ostensibly to create better materials for my crowdfunding initiative. As I went into the task I noticed a subtle sense of freedom; there was a little luxury in making these edits to enrich the campaign.
As I worked my way through the simple process of just cutting a few five-minute clips out of a much longer recording of a dialogue that Tyler and Dave and I had had, something began to come alive in me.
These artifacts I was creating, will stand alone in terms of carrying value into the world. Even without the campaign, they invite and perhaps even in rich thought along the lines of how we care for ourselves and one another. (I’m pending approval from Dave and Tyler before releasing these to the public which is why they are not appearing in links here.)
I spent about 2 1/2 hours on the task, and by the time I was finishing I had a full body sensation of freedom and generosity. Feeling calm and grounded, and at the same time related, I found myself resting in the realization that I was advancing meaningful work that can and will and does serve others, and I was doing so from a relaxed place entirely by virtue of the support I am now receiving from a wider community of people.
THIS is the very reciprocity that I have been longing to create. I made myself vulnerable, and invited my community to connect to my sense of value and to nourish that, and in response received that connection, care, and nutrient. By giving that nutrient, that community actually empowered me through my efforts to express value back into the world.
I feel lit to fire as if by spark! I had breathing room today, perhaps for the first time in months!
I am not out of the woods yet, nor are any of us it seems at this time, but renewed by a loving community, I feel new strength in my legs to make the journey.
Thank you for your encouragement in every form. Thank you for reading, thank you for giving, thank you for laughing, thank you for asking, thank you for sharing, thank you for your vulnerability, thank you for your care, thank you so many beings close and far, thank you known and unknown. Thank you for your hands, thank you for your hearts, for your voices, for your silence.
Connecting community I think is a growing art, and I feel privileged and graced to find myself in the center of that beauty…
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…