Lately, I’ve realized that I may be one of the only residents here that doesn’t have a bicycle of some sort. I’ve been keeping an eye out for the bike that I will purchase and make my own, and thanks to a few of my roommates, I have a fairly good idea of what I am looking for.
Last Saturday, a friend and I made our way to a local antique hotspot in search of my future two-wheeled beauty. We found an old grey twelve speed that had potential if I could get it for the right price. The right price, however, was low, since I would have had to spend a lot of money making it into want I really wanted: it was an old, heavy, twelve speed rather than a freshly painted, light, fixed gear. I took the fully functioning bike to its owner and asked how much he wanted for it. As it was, he wanted quite a lot more than I was willing to pay. Our disagreement over the value of the bike was very obvious. I saw the bike as one that would require a significant post-purchase investment, and he saw the bike as is, being in perfectly good operational shape. Neither of us was right or wrong, it’s just that we had very different opinions about what the future of the bike should be, which in turn affected our opinion about the bikes current worth.
Recently, my thoughts regarding community living have occupied a sizable amount of mental real estate. I’ve been wondering what, in a practical sense, community living should look like. Further, I’ve tried to remember what people had initially hoped living here would be like and then attempted to compare those initial expectations with, after a years time, what we now experience. It seems, especially after the last house meeting, that we have been struggling in many ways as a community. Let me suggest two possible ways to deal with this unrest:
With only a slight change in operational structuring, we could, if desired, just settle and become an edgy little dormitory. By this I mean that we could ditch the community ideal almost completely and settle for just enough involvement with each other to keep the communal spaces clean and people comfortable.
As some have suggested, we could work towards reviving the very personal, intimate, loving, honest, and sometimes painful pursuit of living and actively engaging each other.
What we have to do is decide whether or not this community is one that is currently fulfilling its purpose or if we each need to invest more, or perhaps in different ways, to pursue something beyond Atangards current culture.
I left empty handed and bike-less last weekend, refusing to compromise my understanding of its worth and my vision for it. I still need to find that bike, the one that is fit to purchase and pursue. For us residents, we live here, in downtown Abbotsford, on the second floor of the Fraser Valley Inn. Fortunately, we’ve already found a community that we value and have justified our involvement in. Do we choose to keep this place as is, discontinue any significant investment and ride it out until its broken; or do we continue the pursuit to change it into something beautiful, a shared vision of community in which we all equally partake?
This decision, or the like, each one of us will have to make and continually pursue.
Hopefully we can do so in unity.