A personal request from Andre James
To everyone who lived/thrived/survived the 60’s/70’s intentional community experience. I suspect you are here for a reason.
I can testify to what happened. As I get older I find it harder to sit in judgment of anyone worth mentioning. In that I mean, anyone worth remembering took action. Sometimes inspirational. Sometimes courageous. Sometimes foolish. Sometimes brilliant. Sometimes destructive. Sometimes selfish. Sometimes in service of others. Their action may have helped some and hurt others. In sequence or simultaneously. To sit in this space to see my view, you need Shakespeare and Emerson at your bedside.
What I can do is share the actions that rocked my boat and made me think. Actions that still take up space in my reference library for determining how to deal with life’s curve balls, crisis, direct attacks and confounding dilemmas. That is what I will continue to share.
When asked, there is a tendency to rattle off our canned speeches that we have used many times to describe our experiences to strangers, spouses and children. I do appreciate tributes to CED and the organization. And I give space for witnessing the terrible stories/incidents that have brought some people great sadness.
But please, consider challenging yourself to look back with new eyes.
After all, most have had 30 to 40 years of additional life experience. Which stories are most illuminating? Because of, or in spite of the game, the act-as-if, the cop out, the 24/7 pull-up environment, what has happened, how have you successfully wrestled with demons/challenges to change the trajectory of your life? And if your victories, your enlightenment has happened post commune, please share.
It may be that your whole life story may give us greater insight into our 60’s – 70’s intentional community experience. I look forward to hearing your stories.”