Many seasons have changed, the village moving up and down the mountain with the shifts. Children have been born, folk have come and gone and the vision continues to grow stronger. This blog was once used as a way to share about our families “tipi life” with folk and now it is expanding beyond that, becoming more of an expression of Tipi Village as a whole; a web log of the process of a community growing and unfolding and of a simple way of life.
It is apparent that this project is being supported and even propelled by something much greater than any individual or group of individuals. And at the same time, speaking from the role as one of the “founders”, feel it can be a difficult task to bring this through in a good way.
As many of us have come to learn, living with people is challenging. It takes immense willingness, depth, openness and honesty, more than many people have yet learned how to cultivate. We come from diverse upbringings, and have (in this part of the world) mostly been strongly influenced by a culture preoccupied with an individualistic perspective, not a collective one. Maintaining a collective focus is challenging with individualistic personalities. A focus is important because it brings people together for something bigger than themselves. I often get the sense that people are afraid of togetherness because it lacks diversity or individualism or autonomy. I also see the opposite, folk who understand togetherness to mean creating co-dependent relationships, cultivating neediness of others or may have a need to micro-control their environment and those around them to feel together. As Alfie Kohn, author of Unconditional Parenting says, “people can just as readily be autonomously collectivistic as they can be autonomously individualistic”. It is the former that inspires me.
Tipi Village is not a hippie free-for-all in the woods. The collective focus of Tipi Village is living in the wild, around the fire in tipis, moving as the seasons change. More togetherness is cultivated through honoring the new and full moons with a sweat lodge, observing the solstices, equinoxes and cross quarter fire festivals (basically the dance of the earth, moon and sun), talking circles, making music and community projects like building an oven, garden, bridge etc.
Naturally autonomy exists within each home, within each persons creativity, inspiration, livelihood and so forth. I see collective autonomy similar to making music together. Folk play and sing the same song (the focus, the greater thing) with their own unique instrument and voice (their individual, autonomous self). The music belongs to no one. The group gathered are joined together by something ancient. The ego falls away and an alignment is felt.
As the focus of this blog morphs, may it bring inspiration to those who happen to find it. Tipi Village is still a seedling and welcomes any input and feedback in regards to community building to help this plant grow strong and healthy for many many generations to come.