June 2, 2010

The Gift


We start with a 30-unit apartment building. We make it totally green, in whatever way so appropriate. We put solar panels on the roof. We have a fleet of automobiles that run on vegetable oil.

It is the first building of our artist colony.

But it won't just be an artist colony. Whoever lives here will perform volunteer work in the community, whatever sort of work they want. Our art will reflect our work, inevitably. Everyone will receive a couple hundred dollar stipend every week, maybe more.

A few apartments will be used to house families temporarily homeless. Another for visitors. Another for the chronically homeless. Wherever this colony is located, it will conform to the needs of the local community, so that an apartment also will house victims of domestic abuse, which is prevalent in every community.

We'll have a gardener to tend the grounds of all the buildings in our sprawling artist and service colony. We'll have a chef to prepare buffets a couple times a week, probably to coincide with guests invited to speak with everybody on various interesting subjects. People will visit from around the world.

It will all be so much fun, and work, and especially fun.

I mean, it's not like we're going to change the world or anything.

(I mean, yes, we are:)


17 comments:

Bernie said...

A wonderful gift indeed....:-)Hugs

Lucy said...

And what a gift that will be. xx

She Writes said...

Is this real :)??

Piedmont Writer said...

Sound like the proposal for a really great sci-fi fantasy book. If wishes were horses Ed...

Love the idea though.

Alexandra Grabbe said...

I was reading with the TV on in the background about BP execs not supplying adequate respiratory equipment to fishermen cleaning up the oil spill, because to do so might open BP up to liability suits, and I thought what greedy jerks they are and wished the real world were more like the one you've described here ...

Gabriela Abalo said...

Is this a dream you want to pursue? Sounds great and promising... I would love to live in a place like the one you just described.

loveNlight
Gabi

Deidra said...

Is this really happening? It sounds perfectly wonderful...

Ed Pilolla said...

bernie, the best gifts are those we aren't feeling obligated to give, as we know, but are absolutely wanting to do feverishly. i'm feeling motivated.

lucy, could be pretty cool:)

she writes, it's real just as soon as i get the money. got a few million yourself?:)

piedmont writer, it is cool to think about, for sure. oh, and we'd have community gardens too.

alexandra, there are places in the world like this, though not as expansive as i dreamed this one. i lived with hippies-types in an old rickety mansion in la and they operated a soup kitchen in skid row.

gabriela, i'd love to live in a place like this too. one of the barriers to living in the community houses i did live in was a shared bathroom and kitchen. everyone needs their own quarters. building community happens better when people are given proper private space, i believe.

deirdra, just as soon as i get the money:) i've been lucky to have had money at a couple of times in my life. i briefly owned a large apartment building. i didn't work for five years becuz i had a stash of cash to draw from. so i'm intending for another stash of cash to do this.

Brian Miller said...

dude, that would be amazing...where do i sign up? smiles.

Lisa said...

What an amazing concept. I think it is the new American dream--people serving and helping each other as a response to all of the horrible greed we see every day. Hope you can make it happen :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Very cool idea. And I'd wish for the homeless families to be included in the list of speakers. Our church participates in a program (GAIHN, in our case, an affiliate of Family Promise) in which we house homeless families for one week at a time, 3 or 4 times a year, and I am always blown away by the faith of these people. People in desperate circumstances sometimes develop a dependence on/closeness with God that middle and upper class Christians can't know. They always teach me so much. It's one of my favorite things to do in church.
I'm going to be thinking about your dream. It's incredible.

Andrea said...

Ed's utopia.

Lori said...

LOL Andrea! I was thinking the EXACT same thing.

Ed Pilolla said...

brian miller, it would be amazing. hey, i could win the lottery. the commercials on tv say so:)

lisa, it is interesting how americans have, to an extent, abandoned the dream of getting rich and living in a mansion isolated from everyone and all that. there's so much more passion, i feel, to counter-balance this crazy, out of control greedy world.

rebecca, i love it! thanks so much for sharing. when i volunteered in skid row, these homeless people with nothing, absolutely nothing except a blanket and severe drug addiction, with no prospects but jail and harassment from police, would always say "i'm blessed" when asked how they were doing. and they meant it. they glowed with love. they lived in a space especially close to god. i won't pretend to understand it, just recognize it. thanks for stopping by, rebecca:)

andrea, it's scary how well you know me:)

lori, you too:) but i'll say this to you and andrea, a community as i outlined would have it's dysfunction because every human organization does. there is no doubt. it's important to know that before getting involved in any counter-cultural effort, for sure.

wendryn said...

I like the idea. :) I've never believed in utopias, but I like the ideas behind them, trying to find a place for everyone to be what they would love to be.

Ed Pilolla said...

wendryn, i loved living in community, and struggled too. there are some truly fabulous aspects to it, like the human connection. life is seriously vibrant. it is how, i believe, humans are meant to live, in a close-knit village. unfortunately, these communes tend toward the fascist sometimes, oftentimes.

it's actually really funny and ironic, but you know what tends to be the key ingredient of successful communes or communities? a charismatic leader. yeah. these communities profess egalitarianism. and they offer that, in whatever form. but counter-cultural communities that survive for years and become self-sustaining all seem to have that charismatic leader. i mean, is that irony or what? that's just god being like, that's how it is just so you people down there don't think you have life figured out or anything:)

Anjuli said...

What an absolutely wonderful gift-this is life changing- world changing!!