Episode 61: Craving Connection: Community, Finding Your People, & the Apocalypse with Honor Schauland

This Week’s Guest

Honor Schauland is a community organizer, anthropologist, director of our local community center, master apple tree-climber, and my real-life best friend. She hates being called an “expert”, but in matters of community, she is an expert in my opinion. I have learned so much about community and doing life with people and navigating conflict and differences and community planning just by knowing her and following her lead. Honor orchestrates community conversations, serves on the board of our local food cooperative, and plays an integral role in the establishment of our local food system. She lives with her partner, her daughter, and a flock of cold-hardy chickens in Northeastern Minnesota.

Links

Show Notes

In this episode โ€” the first ever recorded in person! โ€” community organizer and my real-life best friend Honor Schauland and I…

  • discuss broader community and work our way down to inner circle community
  • talk about the importance and necessity of embracing differences in our very rural community
  • share that humans do not have a monopoly on community and that other-than-human beings do community quite well, often better than we do
  • discuss the “checkboxes” we humans like to use to categorize people, which isn’t very effective
  • contrast “fitting in” with true belonging
  • contrast Lindsey’s former life as an evangelical Christian with built-in church community to building a truer sense of community outside the church
  • discuss the Apocalypse at length โ€” why it’s not at all like Hollywood, why we’re already in it, and why community matters

Transcript

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the holistic trauma healing podcast. I have a very, very special episode for you today. This episode has been. Several months in the making. I actually got my best friend to come on the show and we recorded this episode in person. So my best friend is on her. Shoreland she is a barefoot, uh, homesteading community organizer in the community we live in which we’re not sharing the name of, because we would like to keep our location private.

And also because we don’t want anyone to move here. Um, but she has a flock of chickens and she can grow like basically anything. Um, I’m so glad she’s in my life. She’s taught me so much about community, about friendship, about living in the woods. I don’t even think that we would have survived. This long in Northeastern, Minnesota, if it hadn’t been for her, um, she lives with her partner, Jeffrey and her daughter and her little house, which was the original community center. Um, and our town.

And she’s like equal parts, community historian, community organizer. Uh, community expert, unofficial mayor, um, all the things she’s gonna roll her eyes whenever she hears me say that, I know she is. But in this episode, we are talking about community and. The importance of community and why community doesn’t necessarily mean people who look and think and act, and dress and behave like you. We talk about how community is necessary. Um, bigger picture community, whether that’s your neighborhood, your apartment, building your town, your municipality.

Um, and then we’re going to work our way down into like smaller, more intimate. Aspects of community. Um, we’re going to be talking about the apocalypse, which I just want to go ahead and give you a disclaimer that this is not the Hollywood version of the apocalypse. Um, where it’s like an asteroid hits the earth or volcano explodes or something like that.

Um, believe it or not, we are actually in the apocalypse right now. Um, the pandemic is certainly evidence of that climate change is evidence of that late stage capitalism is evidence of that. Um, there’s all kinds of reasons why we are actually already in the apocalypse and. None of us are going to survive.

The apocalypse without our communities. So we’re talking about that. We’re also talking about how we can look for ways to help, how making eye contact can be enough with fight finding our community. Um, why we need to stop expecting people to check all of our boxes when it comes to determining if they’re going to be able to be part of our community or not, because they could check all of the boxes and you don’t have a deep connection with them, or they can check none of the boxes and you end up having an incredible connection with them.

We’re talking about the messiness of community. We’re talking about people creating genuine connection. We’re talking about being different. We’re talking about the necessity of knowing. Many people with a lot of different skills so that you can pull together, pull your resources and help make life easier for each other. And I think probably at the root of all of this is that we have more in common than different.

And when we go into community or into building community with that mindset, then I think the possibilities are limitless. And I just want to share briefly before I dive into this episode about. How we used to do community versus how we do it now. So all of you know that, um, my family and I come from evangelical Christianity about eight years.

Ago, we started our Christian deconstruction journey that eventually led to a complete deconversion from Christianity. And now we don’t identify with any kind of religious beliefs or practices. Um, but. Growing up in the south and going to church. Was always what community was for me, because going to churches like built-in community, especially whenever you get really involved, um, those are the people that, you know, show up with meals when you’re sick. Those are the people who come and help after you’ve had a baby. Those are the people who.

Um, you hang out at their house and you do Bible studies in their homes, and you sit with each other on Sunday mornings and you have this common belief in Jesus and the Bible. And. You have a lot of check boxes that are very similar. But it comes with a conditional acceptance, um, because if you don’t comply and conform to the ideology, then you aren’t going to be accepted. And so for most of my life, I believe that community was wherever I fit in.

And when we moved to Minnesota six and a half years ago, and didn’t know a single solitary soul, I’m not even kidding. We moved 1200 miles away from all of our friends and family and didn’t know a single person. It was very scary. And all of a sudden we went from being in these church environments where we had always fit in and had always found our people.

And. Then we didn’t have that anymore. And it was kind of scary at first. And if it hadn’t been for honor, and some of the other people that we met here shortly after moving here, I don’t even know that we would’ve made it that first year, because there was so much shock moving up here, but I’m glad we stuck around.

I’m glad that we did learn. How to, uh, Incorporate ourselves into this community that we live in now. And I see how different it is from the church communities that I was once a part of. And. The biggest difference that I see is that. I don’t have to check all the boxes. There’s not this expectation that I have to conform and comply and be like everyone else in order to fit in.

In fact it’s been the opposite. There’s such a diverse. Um, so such a diversity of lifestyles and a diversity of wealth, diversity of backgrounds, diversity of skills, diversity of. Basically everything up here where I live and.

I have experienced for the first time in my life, a true sense of belonging versus fitting in. And I know I’ve talked about that on the podcast before that there is a difference between belonging and fitting in and in, in church communities before it was all about fitting in. Going to high school in a small cliquey town was all about fitting in. And I have had the honor of experiencing true community where I don’t have to change myself and conform and comply in order to fit in. I actually can just show up as myself and feel like I belong and feel like there’s a place for me.

And that I’m valued and I’m needed and I’m wanted, um, and I know with the pandemic and the polarization of social media lately, and like all the things that have been happening, it can feel really easy to. Feel very alone and feel isolated and feel like your people just don’t exist. Um, especially if you come out of a church background, like we did, it can feel very scary to try to find community for yourself outside of church, because that’s always built in community. Right. And then when you’re not in that built-in community anymore, then you’re kind of on your own for figuring out how to find your people.

So we talk about that in this episode. And, um, I just, I really hope that you enjoy our conversation. I did not edit any part of it. So, um, thanks for being here and thank you to my wonderful, amazing friend honor for giving me several hours of her afternoon, this past week and sitting down and recording over three hours of.

Podcast conversation. So this episode is going to be part one. And then the next episode is going to be part two and for the links to the books and other resources that we mentioned in this episode, you can find show notes at the bottom of your screen, or you can go to my website, Lindsay lockett.com forward slash podcast.

And this is episode 61. So please sit back and enjoy this. Funny delightful, quirky. Uh very very real conversation with my friend on her. shoreland

I have a very special guest with me here today. We are recording this episode in person. She is sitting across the table from me drinking tea right now, and it is my best friend in the whole world honor. Welcome honor. It’s an honor to have you here.

I’ve never heard that before. Um, so we’re going to talk a lot about community and this may end up being two separate episodes because we have a lot to say about community, but there’s no one in the world who knows more about community than you. I think at least in my world, there’s nobody in my world who knows more about community than you.

So can you just introduce people or introduce yourself to the people and like what it is that you do and why you’re so passionate about community? Um, yeah, so. I guess I describe myself as a community organizer. Um, and, uh, I guess a rural community advocate, I think is another way I would put it depending on how I feel that day.

And, uh, and I guess the reason why I feel like, I don’t know, I don’t feel like an expert. I have, I know you hate the word expert. I’m not good at that. Rural people, especially are often afraid of experts. Experts often come in and do weird things that scare people off. Usually it’s an intention to help, but it doesn’t usually help.

So, um, or maybe it does, but it’s not very clear at the beginning that it’s going to help. Anyway, I digress. Um, uh, I have always lived, um, with the exception of times when I’ve traveled in my life or went to college. Um, I’ve always lived in a rural community of very rural community of under 200 people, maybe have under 300 people, I guess it really varies, but not a lot.

It varies by maybe a hundred people maybe. Um, so yeah, I just, I grew up in a really, really, really small town with really, really limited resources, both for that community and my family. And I’m used to not working with a lot, um, of resources and that includes not very many people. And that’s really, um, it just informs how you have to work in these areas and what you’re doing and who needs, what, and that kind of thing.

I don’t, I don’t really know. How to eat. We can’t be specific about where we live. Yeah. I mean, it’s kind of awkward because it’s like, I’m so grounded in these, like the place that I am. And, um, it’s, it’s so much, I mean, I don’t know that it’s, it’s like, I don’t necessarily think it’s like part, it is part of my identity, but it’s like part of the identity of this place for me is like the names of these communities.

And, um, so that’s going to be kind of difficult and interesting, but we’ll, we’ll navigate that. Okay. I think, um, I guess one thing I was going to say is like having grown up in that background and lived very purposefully in it since I was an adult, um, I don’t often know how to not do community or think the way that I think, um, it’s just, it’s part of who I am.

It’s part of how I was raised. It’s part of, um, I guess like the ethics of who I’m trying to be and what I’m trying to accomplish in the world. And, um, it’s, I often forget that other people and places don’t have what we have here. Um, so I feel when I do remember that, I try to remember that I feel exceptionally lucky.

Um, but then I often also, I’m just like, what we’re doing is not that crazy or unusual in, in this community. Like it’s, it’s, um, honestly, like what, you know, indigenous cultures, the world over have done since time and Memorial, um, is have a strong community and, um, in different ways, of course, And I also just think that there’s probably many and throughout history, I mean, I’m an anthropology major, so I’m really into like how people have done different things culturally in the past.

Marker

And I mean, I would say that, you know, community comes before we’re human, even, you know? Oh, could you explain that? I mean, humans don’t have a monopoly on community. In fact, at this point in our current civilization, I think we actually suck at it far more than the rest of the universe. Like the rest of all life, other than human beings.

Yeah. Like, I mean, we actually still do it pretty dang. Well, it’s like the way we’re wired, but. Literally. So as all the rest of life, and we’re just like trying to pretend that we’re separate from that all the time. And so we’ve like intentionally forgot about it. Whereas, you know, like plants live in communities, animals live in communities of all kinds.

I mean just mycelium lives in. Yeah. It’s just the thing. And we’re just like over here being like, oh, we don’t need that capitalism or whatever, you know, anyways. So I guess I, but I do also really, like, I really feel like, um, the town I live in is so cool and so unique and so special. And at the same time, not, you know, like this is totally what we do and how we do it.

And living in community, it’s like defined by the place that you are and what is there to work with, but it’s possible to do anywhere. And, um, and I really believe that there are probably many, many, many tiny small towns across. The U S or Canada or the world, or whatever that, um, that have this to some extent.

And it’s even in cities, like people have community in cities, but I guess what I’m talking about for me is, um, the depth of it and the depth of it that exists, um, in my life and in my community. Like I said, I get that. It’s rare. Um, and we’ll talk more about that and why, but like, I don’t think it’s as rare as people like to act like I’m constantly getting all this feedback about like, wow, what you guys are doing is unbelievable.

And like, nobody else is doing that. And it’s like, no people really are doing that. This is like the basis of life. Like, trust me, it’s there. You just have to look for it, you know, or know how to access it. And I think that’s a thing is that people have forgotten how to access it. Um, and then like systems that, um, I have broken down too.

So, yeah. Anyway, so before we moved here, before I met you six and a half years ago, um, you know, we came from evangelical Christianity in the south and coming from that life, like church is kind of your built in community. Like when you start showing up to church, those are the people that you end up making friends with.

Those are the kids that your friends, your kids end up making friends with. Um, those are the people that come to your house for Bible studies or prayers, or like when you have a baby, those are the people that bring you meals like it is community. Um, but what’s unhealthy about it of course, is that you’re not really allowed to have your own individual identity within the larger community, because any individualism is seen as a threat to the system because you’re not complying with the rules.

And not that I don’t think that being communal versus individualist is an important conversation. It is, but there’s all these, um, I guess exceptions to who you’re allowed to be inside that community. You know, there’s like, um, we, we have notes here that we’re looking at. So there’s like check boxes, right?

There’s like, you have to be straight. You have to tie your 10%. You have to attend the church. Like your lifestyle has to, uh, you know, comply with the very conservative rules very often, especially in the south. It’s like you vote Republican, you know, always like there’s all these check boxes. And then whenever we moved here and we were deconstructed and deconverted from Christianity and we started to find our place in the community here.

It was so different. And the number one question that I get from people who are in the process of deconstructing and or deconverted from Christianity, is how did you find community outside of church? Because, I mean, it seems simple, but I can personally speak to how difficult it feels and overwhelming.

It feels to have left that very safe environment. That as long as you ticked all the boxes, you thought, I mean, at least you fit in there may not have been a true sense of belonging, but at least you felt like you fit in to leave that and then move to a completely new place. It was like geographical shock, culture, shock, weather shock, like, and, and, and to know, I mean, you remember like the first year we lived here, I was thinking about moving back to Texas because it was really overwhelming.

And so I guess I’m just trying to, maybe we could speak to. Kind of what goes into building your larger community, especially for people that are outside of church, but really this goes for anyone. Um, but then also like going smaller and smaller in our circles, like who’s in our larger, greater community that might be our neighborhood, or that might be our town or our church, or, and then going down into more like the, you know, middle circle of people and then like your inner circle of people and your closest, closest people.

Um, so, and then we have a note here that no one is disposable, which is really important. And I think we can also tie a lot. And I mean, there’s so much to say about all this. It’s kind of complicated that like cancel culture and call out shit is involved in this stuff too, you know? Well, and I, I feel like maybe that’s something we hadn’t actually talked about when we were writing these notes, but like, It kind of came up for me when you were talking about like the rules or the checkboxes in evangelical Christian culture that you came from, like their rules and every community or every culture, I guess.

And maybe one thing that is actually somewhat, you know, I feel lucky about, I guess, or like this it’s one of the reasons why, um, I’m here. I know there are people who grew up in rural areas who, um, feel and have the experience of having there are in some places, um, you know, sometimes rural areas are more conservative places.

It depends on where you’re at. And so in those places you do have to have, or it feels like you have to have the check boxes checked of being, you know, white and straight and going to church and this and that, like, it really depends on the community you’re in, um, I think we’re lucky in that this community is exceptionally tolerant.

I think there’s a lot of reasons for that. Some of which have to do a lot. I’ll all of which I think have to do with like the history of this area being, you know, really remote and then kind of, uh, populated by in different waves. Like by outcast folks, you know, like a lot of the, um, the finished people that, that, that homesteaded here were people who got kicked out of other places for labor organizing or whatever, um, rabble rousing, or I mean, out of their Homeland for, for other reasons of poverty and various things like that.

And anyway, there’ve been kind of successive groups of people that, and the F and the fins, you know, Like we’re came here and we’re really willing, unlike some populations to like learn from the native folks and, um, you know, be like, well, we can survive in the woods and we can live off the land and respect it and, uh, try to do that.

And then successive waves of people have had to, um, often we’re kind of, you know, what do you call it? Um, not disenfranchised, although there some of that, but not disjointed. Yeah. Uh, dang, I’m really disenchanted

with a lot of the other places or cultural things that were going on, you know, um, back to the land hippy kind of people that various things like that anyway, that have happened. And, and so. Yeah, we kind of joke around at times that like everybody who’s here is like hiding from something. And sometimes that’s like, you know, you know, your, your mind goes to like the law or something like that, which is possible.

There’s definitely people around like that. But for the most part, it’s actually just like, they’re hiding from the dominant culture because the dominant culture is something that they’re not into. And, um, I don’t know. So it’s like we have that in common here and like, that will inform a lot of our conversation, I think, too.

Um, but yeah, I don’t know. I guess, like, I don’t feel like there are as many rules, like the rules here are that you have to make it through the winter and you don’t have to. I agree with your neighbor on every single thing. But if your neighbor is like stuck in the ditch, you stop and help them get pulled out or whatever you shovel them out because, um, they could die.

You know, like the conditions here are harsh at times. And even if it’s summertime and they’re stuck in the ditch in a different way, like they could eat, get a lot of bug bites. Right. It’s very dangerous, you know, it’s not, yeah, it’s not, I don’t know. Like, you know, like we take a lot of modern civilization stuff for granted even here, but we definitely have a harsher existence than many places.

And it sh and it’s, it’s, I think that really plays out in how people interact with each other and take care of each other. And, um, I mean, I’m really reminded of it right now, just because we had this big snow storm and the temperature dropped and. You know, um, like during the snowstorm, um, one of my partners, random guys that used to work with Luke at the kitchen, um, up the shore, uh, stopped by, you know, and just like knocks on the door and we’re like, who is that?

What’s going on? And he was like driving from like his dad’s house back to his place. And it’s a long drive and it was snowing dark, and he was tired of like white knuckling it. So he came in and was like, can I hang out for a little bit and just like warm up and hang out. And we were just like, if you need to sleep on the couch, like, it’s fine.

You know, even if we had had other plans, which we didn’t like, that’s just what you do. Like, you know, um, because he could, you know, be driving home and like, it’s not likely, but he really could get into some kind of, some kind of issue and, you know, freeze his fingers off or something. I mean, I know it’s not that likely, but it happens.

So I think that gets people. That’s a, that’s a factor that we have here that maybe aren’t, it’s not as, it’s not as necessary to rely on each other in other places, but I actually disagree with that. I think it is. It’s just like we have this obvious in your face reason why it’s necessary. Yeah. That reminds me of, um, do you remember last January?

Whenever I came upon the deer that had been hit by cars, but its back legs were broken, but it was still okay. Otherwise, but it was like crawling through the, you know, snowdrifts on its front legs and um, I couldn’t just drive by and leave that deer there. And so I didn’t have anything with me to deal with it though.

So I whipped my car back around and I pulled into a stranger’s driveway and he happened to be in his garage. And so he came out cause he saw me pull up. And the first thing I said, like, I didn’t even introduce myself or anything. I was just like, do you have a gun? And he was just like sweet older man.

And he was very calm. And he was like, why don’t you tell me what’s going on? You know? And I, so I told him about this deer that was like a mile up the road and it was really struggling and it needed to be put out of its misery. And I didn’t have stupidly, like, didn’t have a knife or a gun on me at the time.

And he was like, yeah, sure. I’ll come help you. And so not only did he like bring a tarp and whatever, we would like a knife and all the things, but we met the state trooper at the deer because where we live, you’re not allowed to put a wounded deer out of its misery without letting the DNR know. So the DNR guy met us there, shot the deer.

And then this man who was a complete stranger to me who had all the knives and the tarp and everything, like he gutted the deer for me there on the side of the road. And then he and the state trooper loaded it in the back of my car. And then we came home, hung it up. And the next day you and your partner and me and my partner like processed the deer.

Well, after we let it fall out in my bathtub, um, we process this deer and we’re actually gonna make dinner tonight using a roast from that deer. So like, I feel like if I had been in a bigger city and that had happened, like going up to a stranger’s garage and being like, do you have a gun? Like, there’s this wounded deer I need help.

Like, I think a lot of people would either not answer the door or they would be like, you know, it’s cold. I’m not coming outside. Or like, I can’t help you. Or you, you would have started that conversation quite differently. I think. Yeah. I think depending on where it was just my interpretation, but it, but it’s like, you know, we were in London in, in 2019.

Like our experience of London as a huge, I mean, it is a community, whether they behave that way or not, it still is, but it’s like, everybody really keeps to themselves. Nobody gets in anybody’s way. Like I’m sure among neighborhoods or in apartment buildings or something like that. Like people definitely help each other, but like on the larger scale, it, you feel pretty separate, you know?

And that’s the thing in cities. It’s, I mean, everywhere, I mean, that goes back to the circles thing, which we didn’t totally talk about maybe enough. There’s kind of like your, your small level and your bigger levels, you know, and in cities there’s just like many tiny communities or clusters of community, pieces of communities and things like that.

And then, yeah, I mean, I think there’s different, like neighborhood identities and things like that, that kind of count in a certain way as some kind of community, if it’s a way that people interact and. Then there’s probably above the neighborhood level, you know, I mean municipalities and how those decisions get made and things like that relate to community.

And then, you know, there’s probably like a bigger citywide identity. I mean, I know people like my, um, whatever he is, my step uncle , my stomach will lives in New York city. Well, he lives in Queens, but anyway, like he’s got the whole, like I’m from Queens and he’s like, but he’s also like up the whole New York thing.

And he’s very proud to be from New York. And, you know, I mean, and obviously like new Yorkers relate to each other about that, but it’s a very different it’s like when they meet each other and they’re somewhere else, they’re like, oh, you’re from New York. I’m from New York, you know, like instant bond. But there isn’t necessarily when they’re like seeing each other on the street, you know, in New York, Like there’s so many people, you can’t do that with everybody in New York.

Like I remember as a, literally like five-year-old child going to New York and being like, mom, why aren’t we waving at everybody? And my mom being like a kid, seriously, you know, you don’t do that here. Right. And like, and my brought my mom and my, my mom tells stories about that. Like going to the, like the Minneapolis St.

Paul and like my brother and I are like, who’s that, you know, like pointing at cars on the freeway, like, that’s just like, was an alien concept to us that you didn’t know everybody by what their vehicle looked like. Right. And which, again, our, our version of it is like a completely alien concept to somebody who lives in a city like that.

And so, and the idea, I also, this is one of my things is like, On hi on highway one, I wave at everyone. I have to turn it off. I’m 61. Cause I’m like, this is ridiculous. These are all tourists. They’re not my people. But then I, then what happens is like somebody goes flying by and I like, I’m like, dang it. I knew.

And I feel like I’m Dirk. Yeah. And like, you’re stuck dad. Um, he always, he waves everyone too usually. But last summer we got a different car and I’ve noticed for like a year and a half now we pass him and he doesn’t wave at us. And we stopped in front of the general store here. And I went up to him finally and I was like, okay, this is our car.

Now, you know, this is what we’re driving now because we wave at you and you’re not waving back. Yeah. He’s he’s I think he’s got it now, but the same thing, like I didn’t have the, I bought a new truck and I didn’t have the dealer plates on it for forever. And that was how people knew it was me. So now that I don’t have the dealer plates on it.

Not knowing they’re like, wait, what’s your whole identity has gotten. I’m like, it’s the same truck with like actual license plates guys, check it out. But they’re like having an identity crisis because they can’t spot around here. If you like put something, something like moves, people are really creatures of habit.

Like if something moves, uh, yeah. Oh boy. Yeah. I mean, I, but I love that about us. I love that. We’ve become familiar with like how to spot each other in the wild. Well, it’s comforting. Yeah. I mean then that’s one of the things that community is supposed to provide and your environment, it gives you a safe space you’re secure, you know?

Yeah. So I think that’s actually a great place to segue into the, so we talked about the bigger community, like at large, but like circling back into or down the circles, getting smaller and smaller in the circles. Um, And I’m not sure if this is the time. There’s just a note here that says, honor, we’ll go on about the apocalypse.

Yeah. I don’t, I’m not worried about that. That’ll happen. Totally. Like the apocalypse is going to come up. This is like what we talked about all the time. Anyway. So now we’re like working our way down to the personal yeah. Cause there’s like the bigger levels. And then, you know, like, well, I mean, for me, it’s like, I don’t know it’s different because in different places for different people, excuse me, because like, people are often don’t live with their families or near their families, but there’s like a lot of family, you know, units and, and, um, extended family in this area for a lot of people, but not everybody has.

But that’s a thing. So I guess like maybe if it’s not your family, it’s like your people who are your people, your chosen family. Right. Cause everybody’s got that wherever they are, you have to have that, um, somewhere. And, um, and then, you know, there’s kind of like, it extends outward and circles from there.

And like, again, some people do have, you know, within this community, this small community, there’s, you know, like the fire department and that’s like a little community of people that meets regularly and the buyers each have their own communities. For sure. Cause there’s like the people who are there, like every day for coffee or the people who were there every day at noon for a beer or whatever.

Yeah. And, and honestly, or at least here it’s like, if they don’t show up, people get worried, like, you know, and, um, Yeah. Like my stepdad, if he didn’t show up at the store like five times a day, then they would not an APB. And so when people are like, have you seen him? I’m like, ah, I’m just going to call down to the store.

Like, oh yeah, he’s been here like three times to that. He seemed fine. I mean, I’ve totally called the store looking for you. And you’d like been there and picked up the phone. I love that. Well, anyway, can we keep getting off topic? We keep being like, it’s not off topic, but it’s like, we’re talking, we’re basically bragging in my house and we’re, I know I’m not going to tell any of you where we live, because we don’t want any of you fuckers to move here with the only with the proper budding.

Right. You have to check all the right check boxes and we’re not going to share what those are right yet, but. Um, there’s an application process. There’s a major, major application process. Unfortunately, some people sneak through without, you know, application process. We snuck in. That’s a great example. We had no idea what we were getting into and all the best ways, all the best ways.

So then, so then, and then it gets, like I said, it gets bigger and bigger according to like what you participate in. Then there’s like, I mean, now we have like online communities and we have online versions of rural communities, which are interesting because like, you know, like there’s like the Facebook page or whatever.

And not everybody around here is in fact, many people are like morally opposed to Facebook, uh, morally it’s not the right word, but like just adamantly opposed to Facebook or social media or computers of any kind or whatever. So it’s like, There, it’s not the same group of people, but there’s like a particular group of people that’s on there that you can find if you happen to go look, I don’t know, like each different little places.

I mean, and, and in my like anthropology, uh, terminology, each place is a microculture, you know, and there’s many, many little micro-cultures like everywhere all over the place. Um, it’s just that at least in our town, there’s like a pretty strong, like overarching sense of community identity and that, that people want to be part of, which is really cool.

And that is, you know, like we have a higher amount of like civic engagement, I guess you would say than a lot of places. And, um, and it, and it’s not just like, you know, you’re from New York, I’m from New York, you know, Not only do we have this sense of identity, but like we actually interact with each other for the most part.

Like not everybody in the community interacts with every single other member of the community, like all the time, but it happens often enough that there’s cohesion. Yeah. And so, um, that’s pretty amazing. Yeah. Um, yeah, it is amazing actually. Um, I’m even pretty proud even though we’ve had some weird, weird moments, but I’m like pretty proud of the way our community has even handled.

Like COVID. Yeah. Because like, even some of the people, and I’m not on Facebook anymore. Cause I’m one of the ones who’s like morally opposed to it. But even, even when I was still on Facebook, like, um, I definitely saw a lot of members of our community sort of like freaking out feeling really unsafe, but then I feel like.

At least whenever they see you in person like that doesn’t have to be a focal point or like, um, well, I think there’s, you know, like that’s one of the things is that people are often, you know, spouting off online about something, but it’s a whole different thing to be spouting off online about something to people that you’re never going to meet in person.

And like, you know, again, it depends on where you’re doing it, but if you’re doing it within the, like our small communities, social media bubble or whatever, I don’t think a good word. But like, if you’re in that circle doing that, you’re literally talking to people that you could very well see, like in the next coming days or whatever, or if you’re not going to see them because you’re like isolated or whatever.

Cause many people are. Um, anyway, just because of geography, but COVID is now a factor there too. And also I think it’s probably like, not everyone where we live has internet even. Right. So there’s that kind of isolation. Totally. But then you have this awareness of them as a human, I mean, because they’re because you have seen them in person before, or, you know, or, you know, their relatives or you’re like you live down the street from them and maybe you don’t see them that often, or you just, I don’t know, like everybody has, we have our like frames of reference for people and they, that humanizes them for us.

So like when someone is online, like, like I have a neighbor who is like a, has a, has a, um, a kidney transplant and, um, is very, very, very concerned about COVID and safety and like has to take, um, All kinds of, you know, antibody is really concerned about antibodies anyway, and, and has been about various other issues previous to this one.

I have it as in light to my knowledge as well, has to be concerned about their health because of their delicate situation. And so, you know, I don’t know, it’s like one of those things that, that like serves to like humanize the whole, like people can get real whacked out about, you know, COVID and safety and whatever.

And I’m always kind of like, you know, it’s like, you never want to go super extreme with anything and links to my opinion, but like, I’m able to like understand it a little better or humanize it a little better when I like picture or like actually hear my neighbor actually chiming in on this, like on a Facebook page saying like, here’s how this affects me.

And then even if I actually. Um, if they’re not participating or whatever, when something big is going on or like the questions or the decisions are coming up for whatever reason in the community about masks or the Saturday. The other thing I do, like have that in the back of my mind to think about it from the perspective of my neighbor and to realize like, and sometimes that sucks because it’s like, sometimes it’s like, we’re making decisions that we’re just like, my neighbor is like really not able to participate in person in hardly anything at all right now for the foreseeable future.

And that sucks, you know, but it’s like, it helps to have that like human face on that and to think about that. But then also to have the human faces of like other people in the community, like the kids that are all really isolated and like struggling and, um, you know, there’s like all these different perspectives on it.

And again, I think like we’re in many ways, a more tolerant community that way. Um, and there’s been a lot of intolerance during COVID. A lot of people are freaked out. But I also see people like, kind of like, even if they’re like, okay, we don’t agree on exactly what to do with this, but like you’re freaked out and that sucks.

And I don’t want you to feel like alone and freaked out. Yeah. Or whatever. Like it’s okay. That you’re freaked out and you’re not, and I’m not like you’re not disposable or because you’re freaked out at us. We’re all freaked out. We’re all manifesting our freak out in different ways. Like here we are in our community, like maybe in our separate houses, but still in our community.

Like we’re both freaked out, you know, for sure, for maybe different reasons, slightly too. Cause I think that’s another part of it is like some people are freaked out about safety. Some people are freaked out about their personal freedom or whatever, you know, like there’s lots of different aspects of it and there’s room for all of it.

Honestly like you can’t value one over the other. You know, I want to circle back to what you were saying about how you know, up here, especially because in the winter time it can be really dangerous. If you are stranded on the side of the road with your car in a ditch, like even if it’s someone you really don’t like you still stop and you help them.

Um, and also because of our limited resources, because we’re a long way from a bigger city, um, we have to rely on each other for like different trades skills services, like stuff like that. Otherwise we’re stuck driving over an hour or paying way more money than we should because we have to get help or services from farther away.

Um, and I guess this could tie in with going on about the apocalypse, because you know, we’ve had conversations about how, like, we need to know a welder. We need to know a guy with a bucket truck. Because th these people have human faces and you know them, and you’ve interacted with them, even if you don’t like them very much, even if they don’t check all your boxes, like, even if they’re not in your inner circle, you still have to treat them with kindness and respect, because not only are they humans, but like you, you might really need them one day or they might really need you one day.

Do you want to talk about that more? Or did that just like say at all? I mean, oh, you said a lot of it. That was really good. Um, no, it’s very true. Um, yeah, I think that’s the thing it’s like it’s, well, of course it right. Ties into the apocalypse, but it doesn’t have to, like, again, we live in an extreme enough climate that we end up having to rely on each other in many ways also, because there’s just like, so few people here.

You get what you get like this is who is here. So if you want to be social and some of us are kind of antisocial, but we still need it sometimes, you know, excuse me, you, these are your choices. So, you know, like you can build friendships with people, um, and do the work required to maintain a friendship and realize like somewhere along the way, like, you’re never going to agree with anybody about fucking everything and, um, or you can, you know, take your chances and go down to the bar and hang out with who’s there.

And maybe that’s just fine too. Or maybe down at the bar, people are expounding upon something that you profoundly disagree with and like, what do you do? How do you interact? Like, do you, you know, chime in, do you keep the peace and keep your mouth shut? Do you. I mean, there’s multiple ways to deal with that, you know, like, um, I don’t know.

And then there’s like, there’s also, I guess, like, you know, it’s also like we’re such social creatures. I was, I’m like reading that book that you lent me, the cultish book, you know, and like that. So I’m kind of struck by, as I’m saying that, like how I just read the part about, um, how, uh, humans will offer we’ll there’s like studies that have been done that are like, where people will say something that’s wrong.

And then like the other people just like agree with it, a statement that’s like clearly wrong or false. Um, just to feel like they’re part of the group and how like, dangerous and weird that is. And like, I don’t know, like, like I do, I, so I think that there’s like, I’m not sure how to fit that into what we’re talking about, but it does fit in.

It’s kind of related to like, when you go down to the bar and somebody is talking about something that you like disagree with, like you’re not required to sit there and like, listen and change your mind, you know, but you could learn something and you’re also allowed to like, state your own opinion or stance or whatever, and you can state it in like a real, like, harsh way, or you can state it in like a, maybe just kind of gentler way.

And maybe they hear what you have to say. And maybe it makes them like imp uh, impression on them. I don’t know. Anyway, that’s my, well, I think it’s, you know, there’s a disclaimer there and that I think the amount that one has had to drink also makes it totally, totally, I’ve seen people become best friends rather quickly, despite not having all the check boxes for each other.

Um, yeah. Well, and I think this is a great, um, this is a great point and I’m not trying to like toot my own horn here, but I think it is a real life example of how sometimes you do, you really have not, sometimes you really do have to get beyond your differences with people because you’re part of community and you have to be there for each other and like, um, you and I have a mutual acquaintance who I haven’t gotten along with very well, but.

Not that long ago, they got a moose and I have this really amazing, like commercial meat grinder. And I’m the only one in our community that I know of with a meat grinder like that. So it kind of makes the rounds and a lot of people get to borrow it. So they got this mousse and it wasn’t winter, which means you have like very short time to process it before it starts to go bad.

And for people who, you know, aren’t familiar with this kind of lifestyle that we’re talking about, like, um, it’s pretty normal for us to eat like roadkill around here. Like it just is, and you don’t let things go to waste, um, because you want to respect the land and the animals and all of that. But anyway, so they got this moose and I loaned them my meat grinder and like this person I don’t get along that well, so I could have been like, no, I think you’re a Dick.

So I’m not going to give you my meat grinder. Yeah. What purpose would that have served me, you know? So I loaned them, the meat grinder, they, they ground up the moose, they process the mousse. And then whenever I got my meat grinder back, like they gave me some of the moose meat and some of the moose broth that they had canned, even though they don’t really care for me either.

So like, I think that’s one example of like, you do need people, even if you don’t necessarily agree on everything, you still have to treat each other like human beings. And sometimes you, you have to put aside your differences for the greater sense of community. Yeah. Or, okay, excuse me. You don’t need people if you want to get all like, you know, technical about it, but they make your life a lot easier, you know, like, and excuse me.

And, you know, I mean, I think, and, and also like, it’s what your definition of need is. I mean, I think we actually do need people in like a. Um, like a mental health, you know, holistic, a holistic person, like health standpoint. Like we do need other people, but like, you can get along without, it’s like, you know, it’s like, uh, like dairy, you don’t need dairy.

You can love it. I can live without it. And some people do for years, you know? But like, it makes your life so much better though. I mean, I’m feeling that I missed dairy. Anyway. If I was as isolated as some people are in our area, I would really miss people. So there, you know, there are people who are, or even not even just in our area, I feel like as isolated, as many people are currently with COVID, um, or have been in the last couple of years at times, like that’s awful.

It’s, it’s like, it’s, uh, it’s meant to be temporary. You’re not meant to go without people for that long. And. There is this danger people annoying you? I mean, they’re people honestly. I mean, it’s more than that. Like, some people have, you know, really shitty experiences with other people. Some people are violent and stuff like that.

Like you do need to have boundaries and stuff like that, but cutting, um, you know, if it’s yeah. Cutting people off and that happens even here, for sure. I mean, there’s like people that I disagree with in this community who I prefer not to be around, but it’s also not a real realistic option for me to not be around them entirely.

Um, and I have had to think about that and come to terms with that and be like ready for when I do run across them and how that’s going to go. And that’s a very, you know, it can be a very nerve-wracking thing at times to think about, but I also know that I am, you know, I have. Other people around me who I can rely on to be my buffer or, you know, I can have boundaries.

I can, you know, just there’s, it’s, that’s, uh, that’s going to happen anywhere. That’s just the nature of, um, people and how they interact and how they get along. Or sometimes don’t get along. Like you have people that you’re just not going to want to be around sometimes. Um, yeah, but, but in, but in this, in this community, it’s it it’s, I think in like a city, sometimes it’s a lot easier to pretend that you can cut people out of your life entirely and here it’s like, you can pretend that don’t work and eventually you’re going to need a meat grinder, or you’re going to need somebody to pull you out of a ditch.

Right. And that just so happens to be the person who stops or something like that. You know, it’s like sometimes fate is really, or I don’t know about fate, but yeah. Something, whatever it is, it’s like. Yeah, it’s it’s crazy. So I would love for you to share your perspective on, we mentioned like cancel culture, call-out culture, like accountability, shit online earlier.

Um, like I think what I want to tie in here is the difference in like, what’s what we think is okay. Online versus how it works in real life. So this person that I was talking about, who I loaned my meat grinder to, like, can you imagine what it would have been like if either one of us had like put up a flyer on the general store bulletin board about like how, um, how the other person had wronged us and all the ways that we were calling them out and how they needed to take accountability and like, and like basically launched a harassment slash cancel campaign, but like in real life, On the small town bulletin board, like, well, okay.

Let’s so things like that happen in real life, like reg not, not related to social media, pre social media, let’s just take social media away. Let’s pretend that it doesn’t exist for just a minute. Oh, praise Jesus. Uh, uh, praise the God. I dunno. Anyway, uh, so it happens that happens. People do stuff like that.

And you know, I mean, like I can think of multiple examples in my own life and past history where some buddy, two people are having a big disagreement and they try to involve other people in their crap. Like, I can think of a bunch of those. And it’s interesting because now we have, you know, you add in the social media and it gets real crazy, but like, and social media, you know, That’s bad enough.

Like I get where people get canceled on the internet and the internet, you know, is this like social construct, right? Like, and it’s bad enough to be canceled on, on the internet. It’s it, it feels really big and awful. I think whether it’s on the internet or in real life, it depends on what matters to you and what you participate in and all of that stuff.

And I think, again, I think part of the, the, the, the internet cancel culture that sucks is that people really do, it has real life consequences for people, you know, There are people are trying to get folks like fired from their jobs or take away their income stream or get them like they lose their friends or, you know, I mean, that really does happen.

It has real life consequences. It’s weird because it’s like, it’s backwards. In my opinion, it’s like something that started on the internet maybe, or maybe it happened in real life and then went on to the internet and blew up. And then it turns back into like real life at some point down the line. Well, if you take away the social media, this can still happen.

It just maybe doesn’t go as far as quickly. And maybe that allows some, like, I don’t know. I know it still feels awful for people. I’ve had the personal experience of it feeling awful. So I know that, you know, but like we’re, we’re, you’re like, God people are talking shit about me or whatever. I mean, and that is a thing that I know is again another like weird little, like, I don’t know if it’s a stereotypical small town thing.

People talk about, but you know, just like the feeling that people are talking about, you behind your back or something, and, and, and maybe that somebody in particular is saying really negative things about you and yeah, I don’t, that’s, that’s just as difficult, I think in real life, as it is on the internet, it’s just slightly like the internet has that potential to escalate it to this point.

That’s like, really, but, you know, in an extreme case, people feel like they need to like leave the small town that they live in because they don’t feel comfortable there or whatever they have that experience. And I mean, I’ve seen friends, you know, go through a divorce and even if not everybody takes sides, you know, like, like hopefully people don’t, but it sadly happens sometimes that they do, depending on what’s going on.

And not that that’s, it’s not right, but it has. And, um, you know, one of those people, maybe both of them, even sometimes if they’re not real rooted in that community, in the first place, if people are not, if they don’t feel supported, just if the conditions of their life have changed enough, that it feels, uh, necessary, they will find somewhere else to be where they feel more comfortable.

And that’s, you know, that, that anguishes me, I guess when it happens here, you know, I’ve seen that to some extent where, you know, we have people where I’m like, I want to keep them, but, you know, conditions are such that it’s hard to, um, support oneself and find a place to live. And, um, all of the things that are necessary to being here, plus, you know, it’s, it’s in some ways maybe easier to make that work with a partner.

And so like I’ve seen people split up and one, or both of them leaves and that’s a bummer. And sometimes it’s because their heart is broken and sometimes their heart is broken about having to leave. And sometimes it’s not just leave there, the relationship or whatever, but like everything else they’ve worked to build in this community, you know, and I mean, that happens in that was something I actually have really personal experience with, with my mom and my dad and my stepdad, like as a kid.

And it’s a different, you know, it’s a different community than where I currently live, but it’s a community I’m still a part of and it’s very close by. But, um, you know, my mom, uh, and my dad, my, they were not, it’s, that’s a long story, but they weren’t happy together. And my mom left my dad and you know, this is like an eighties.

And I don’t know. I mean, I think that that was. Becoming more common, but it was definitely like frowned on like that she left him and that she was like dating other people and wasn’t like divorced from him yet and had kids at home and she should be with her kids and that kind of like perception, you know?

And, um, that was really hard for her. And, um, and I think really the part that was hard for her was like her feeling like people are talking crap about her and she’s just trying to figure out what she wants, you know? And I’m not sure I have some, like a lot of feelings about that, and I’m not like trying to defend my mom, but like some cause parts of it, I’m like still mad about, you know, but like then my dad died and that through this like complete monkey wrench into it, in the sense of like, then people.

I mean, people really acted like my mom had like killed my dad or something. I mean, it was crazy. And this was like, you know, 30 years ago. And my mom is still like, she’s still here. She didn’t leave. But she’s like, she spent, she spent like that much time, like healing from that, you know? And she still is like crabby about certain people in the community.

And I’m just like, mom, that was 30 years ago. Like, people don’t remember that or if they do, they’ve like, I don’t know. It’s very different. They’ve like moved on. Believe me, there are other far more dramatic things than your life. They’re talking about new things years ago. And now they’re complaining on Facebook about math.

I don’t know. Anyway, you know, like just, there’s like, that’s, that’s the thing that I see with that. And, and it’s, I think it’s a really, it’s easy for me to say, right. You have to realize that people move on to the next big thing pretty quickly, probably even more quickly on the internet than in real life, even, but like it’s the, it’s the in real life consequences that really hurt people for long, for a long time, you know?

And, um, I don’t know. I just like, as all this stuff about like cancel culture has been coming up and I’ve been kind of watching it, like that’s what I’m struck by is like, um, just it’s it’s the same thing. Just playing out in a different venue with like really far reaching consequences because of how broad the reach of the internet is.

Do you think terms like, like I’m using air quotes here harmful and problematic are overused and have perhaps they’re real meaning? Oh, I mean, yeah, but like I’ve used, I feel like that’s like a whole other. You’re just talking. You’re preaching to the choir here. I know. I know. Um, is the sun in your face?

Do you want me to like, oh, it’s fine. I’m hiding behind the microphone. Okay. All right. So let’s see. What do we have here? Well, we haven’t talked about the apocalypse nearly enough now. I mean, I agree, but I’m not trying to force the subject.

She literally banged her head on the desk. Um, well it seems like such a big question and it’s like, we’ve touched on it twice. We’ve only, we’ve only made these very small notes about it everywhere. It really is. It’s like on every page. Yeah. Um, well, yeah, let’s, let’s talk about the apocalypse. Well, first of all, there’s no such thing.

No, I’m just already in it. We’ll right. Okay. There’s that? Oh, I just, you know, like, I guess everybody, not everybody, sorry. Our dominant culture likes to behave. Oh my God. Lindsey is moving plants to try to block the sun, like a giant planet. Just Scott moved across the room. Holy cow. All right. So, you know, like, I guess I, I, I want to make clear that when we’re talking about the apocalypse, we’re not talking about like the Hollywood version of the apocalypse at all.

No. And we’re also not talking about the Christian version of the end times, right? The tribulation and left behind and all that. At least not literally. No, no. We’re not talking about the antichrist. No. Um, what we are talking about is where our civilization is now in whatever we call it. There’s so many words for it.

Late stage capitalism. You know, just the things that are con peak oil, climate change, all of these things that are happening, that, you know, people like to maybe disagree with or be in denial about or debate how, and when they’re going to happen or whatever. Like, I guess I just, my personal feeling is that they were in it it’s happening.

There’s always a crisis. There’s always going to be a crisis. Some of them might be bigger than others. Like the pandemic feels pretty big. It’s large. I like, I guess I’m, I’m sort of aware. Um, uh, Robin brought this up at the training. Uh, we did this training at my work anyway about, um, how it’s kind of a taboo to talk about the apocalypse or you’re like, you sound like you start to sound.

People think that you’re people automatically think that you’re like some kind of nut job for bringing it up and people think you’re like a Q Anon conspiracy theorist. Right. And that’s why like, to be like, okay, there’s no such thing as the apocalypse or it’s always the apocalypse. So like, let’s just, I don’t know.

People are either already think I’m a nut job or not. I don’t know. At this point I don’t care. But like, I think what he was, what he was point was is if you use words like the apocalypse and people are like, immediately assume you’re talking about a pretty specific thing and they don’t want to think about it.

And they, they just like turn their brain off and they’re like, ah, you’re not job I’m in denial. I think Hollywood’s version is always like, the apocalypse is like this one time event, like a meteor is going to hit the earth or like a volcano is going to explode and put a dust cloud over the whole planet or something.

Right. Yeah. And then, or there’s the people who are like, bring it on. Yeah. And I think that that’s another its own kind of crazy, you know, like I understand in a certain way, like, yup. Humans are messing up the planet, we got something needs to change. Like things need to change for dang. Sure. But like, you know, let’s also not wish like awfulness on.

Anything, anything including people and especially because many of those people are going to be people we know. I mean, that’s kind of like the whole deal with this pandemic. The pandemic to me is like the example of like the prime example to point to is like everybody who’s like, bring it on and now we have a pandemic.

It’s not your fault. I’m not blaming you. I just mean that, you know, look at how it’s affecting your loved ones, look at how it’s affecting your community. It’s not positive. And I mean, I think like it’s just, it’s, it’s like, it’s, it is, it just is. And we don’t have a choice about that. And we have choices about how we react to it or act or whatever actor react, I guess, but it’s not, it’s already happening.

This is happening. This is what is happening. And so what is going to help us survive things like this. And I guess my answer is community and. In small ways or in big ways, like so many ways. And, um, I guess it, I would also say that, yeah, like it’s like a taboo to talk about this in the larger world, but this is what I was saying that Robin pointed out is that I was just like, wait it’s, it’s not a taboo to talk about that here.

We talk about it all the time. And we mostly don’t talk about it. Like we don’t call it the apocalypse in our small town. We mostly are just like, Hey, the next time the shit hits the fan. I want to be ready. And that’s just, like I said, that goes back to that. Like there’s always a crisis. And maybe it’s because again, we live in this place where.

Winter comes every year. And in a certain way, it’s always a crisis. Like it’s not a crisis because you’re like, this is normal, but it is like, uh, you gotta have gas in your plow truck. You gotta have firewood firewood. You gotta have, you have to like, like our lives are basically like half the year is spent prepping for the other half of the year.

You have to have food, you have to have clothing, you know, make sure you have enough wool socks. If you don’t have enough wool socks, talk to your friend who knits wool socks and don’t buy shitty snow boots. Right? Yeah. There’s like, this is so we’re like basically like preppers and I don’t even know about real preppers.

Like I just know what I’ve been raised with, which is like people who you have to just do this every year. And then, then you also have to like, you know, like this last summer was a drought and not only did we have. Several massive forest fires, threatening our communities, but the wild rice crop was there, but really hard to get to because it’s really hard to paddle a canoe in a water.

So, um, a lot of us like our gardens didn’t do, right? Like my potatoes were terrible. So this is one of those things where, you know, we’re like a lot of people have their, like, I don’t know their version of like, you, you pray, you gather, you want them gather or whatever, and you want to have enough, but you don’t want to take more than what you need, but what do you need?

Because you can have a year like this one. And like this year, like I know people who normally sell wild rice because they harvest the harvest excess and then they sell what’s left and they’re not selling any anymore because they don’t have enough to sell. And so that’s that, you know, like there’s those of us who don’t harvest our own wild race and.

We rely on the people who do harvest it to be able to buy or trade from. Right. And they rely on us to buy it from them as a source. Right. So this year is different, you know, and we’re going to have to make that up in a different way or whatever, or you make sure you have a certain amount of stockpile, at least with staple, things like that, that keep, you know, or, or whatever.

Um, just some things are just, yeah, there wasn’t a lot of blueberries. And I happened to have like a few blueberries from the year before last in the freezer still. And they’re not in as good a shape as they would be if they were fresh, but like, it just, we’re just making it work. Right. Right. And, um, I don’t know.

That’s, uh, that’s just, that’s kinda like just the mentality of like, you start to be practical about those kinds of things because of the way we live here. Um, but then I also, so then I also just. But I also think we’re aware that we do that and then that like the outside world that like people freak out, you know, and, and don’t do that kind of stuff.

And then, um, sorry, I’m kinda feeling like I’m in like a, oh, you know, an apocalyptic sinkhole I’ve like lost my apocalyptic train of thought. Well, then write an outline for the apocalypse. No, no, nobody does. That’s the problem. Yeah. But basically like, I guess it’s a theory, it’s a series, it’s a series of S of smaller events or maybe bigger events, but a series of them.

But none of them are like, the comment hits the earth, like, you know, or whatever. Um, that’s not the kind of thing that I’m talking about. Eventually we are going to get to a point because of late stage capitalism. Like we’re going to get to a point where the systems and structures that have held everything in place that have been really dysfunctional and oppressive.

Aren’t going to work anymore. And at that night, well, you know, they don’t work that’s right. We have the illusion that they work, but they don’t, but I mean, eventually the whole thing is going to implode on itself. And, and then what, like that’s when you need your fucking people. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, definitely.

Um, and, and I guess I was even thinking about that. I was actually, I actually was reading, this is really funny. We have written in the notes, uh, the long dissent by John Michael Greer. I was like reading that this morning. Um, and, uh, and that talks about this particular thing that we’re talking about about like, um, civilization unraveling and like a series of, you know, it’s not, it’s like a, it’s like a mountain or a, it’s not a sharp mountain.

It’s like. Uh, hill that you climb and then fall down the other side, basically. And he, he talks about that, about how things like build up and then, you know, civilizations or honestly organisms sometimes have in general outstrip the resource base and then have to like curtail and like things like, um, things like slump off or fall back, or the population declines because there’s not enough food or whatever.

Like he, you know, he explains it in this way that it, I don’t know. It’s like, he’s talking about something that isn’t going to be fun, but, and it, isn’t fun it’s happening and it’s not fun, but. Right. Has anybody been having fun for the last two years? Well, that’s not fair though, because some of us have at times, like, I feel like that’s a thing is like a lot of people feel really guilty about like they know how awful the state of the world is.

And they feel like really bad for even having a little bit of fun every once in a while. It’s so important to find those pockets of joy and the middle of like stress. Yeah. But I, and I guess like, um, but no, I don’t think anybody’s like gleefully excited about COVID. Right. Um, or the other awful things that sometimes are happening, you know, floods and fires and just all that kind of stuff.

It’s not, that’s not fun, but I also have seen where. We do pull people, communities do pull together and people do help each other during times like that. And that is that’s that’s because that’s like our basic unit. That’s like what helps. That’s what it helps people to help to feel better. It helps people to get through it.

It helps people to feel like they’re doing something. Like I was struck by that with the fire, um, the fires that were happening, the forest fires, um, you know, like people were getting evacuated from their homes. And there were people who were like opening their homes for other people and wanting. And we were like at the community center, like trying to help make those connections for folks.

And we had way more people offering places to stay. Then there were people who needed them. Really cool. I want to like pause and just tell everyone, listening that the reason why people here locally have to offer their homes is because we don’t have like three hotels, like around here that, you know, sometimes the red cross will like pay for people to stay in a hotel.

Whenever they’ve been in a disaster, like. We don’t have that. So people have to open their homes. Right. They’re going an hour and a half away. Yeah. Although I have to say that, um, that, that it didn’t happen as much as you might think. There were people who were displaced, but they mostly stayed with friends and family or they, they, like, there were people who stayed in hotels, um, a little further away, but yeah, we just, we don’t have as much of that kind of infrastructure, um, available.

Um, it, it was just, luckily it was a very small number of people actually. Um, but there were like plans in place for, in case it were grew to be more because like, you know, we weren’t sure how that was all gonna play out and where the fire was going to go. So there were, it was like, well, we’re going to start a spreadsheet of people with places to stay and we might need it like, you know, soon, you know?

So, um, you know, and, and we’re like interfacing with like the red cross and like the, um, People needing medical equipment, you know, like elderly people who had like left their house in a hurry and didn’t have their like Walker or whatever, or their medication, or, you know, so there was like some interesting gymnastics going on behind the scenes.

Yeah. But you made it work. I mean, it worked. Yeah. And it, and it was just like really amazing to see that kind of outpouring of support. And I guess just what I mean is like, I know that happens all the time. Like when there’s a disaster of any kind people donate or they, they, because they want to help, you know?

And, and I think that that’s really, it speaks to our community oriented nature that people want to do that. It’s it’s, it helps them feel like they’re connected. And, um, and I think it makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself. Yeah. Which is really, really important. Um, yeah. And then, and I see that, that, that, that’s kind of how the reaction is.

Again, in our like bigger culture of like give money to it or whatever, which is totally helpful. Um, I think people in often oftentimes want to, like, if there’s, if they know how, if there’s a way to do it in person, people would do something helpful in person too, you know, like, um, I’ve seen, you know, like around here anyway, it’s like when something happens to somebody, people, you know, start making casseroles and bringing them food.

And, um, I mean, I just see that with like the volunteer fire, our communities are all served by like volunteer fire departments and like volunteer, uh, rescue squad folks. And that’s, you know, let’s, uh, I’m just I’m. I mean, here I’m like have like, you know, dedicated my career to this like community oriented stuff.

And like, I’m just in awe of like the people on the rescue squad or the fire department. Cause they’re just like doing that. Yeah. Spare time. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, and like our last fire chief, who was like on the squad for like 30 something years. Yeah. Yeah. Who actually came to my house twice to fight, to fight,

which we then talked about in the bar later. Right. Yeah. So we just brought it full circle. Yeah, totally. Um, so here’s what I think we should do. I think we should like figure out a nice way to wrap up our like broader community conversation. And then I think we should go make some more tea and then I think we should come back and record the like smaller.

Community stuff that we were talking about. Does that sound good? Sure. So how would, how would you like to wrap up our, our larger scale community conversation? Oh, I know, I know I have a question. Um, I get asked this a lot, particularly from deconstructed Christians, but I think it applies to everyone. Um, especially if you, if your beliefs are evolving or changing in any way, sometimes that a natural byproduct of that is like your people change.

So my question is because I get this a lot is, um, if we’re talking larger scale, so we’ll say like outer circle, larger circle, and maybe like middle circles. How do you, how do you find your people? I tell people you have to put yourself out there. Um, but do you have any other mindblowing advice? No. I mean, I think that that is it is that you have to put yourself out there.

It’s just, there’s no getting around it. Um, it’s. Yeah. Like, and that’s scary, or it can be terrifying, you know? I mean, I’m sure the first time you like went to the bar down here, it was probably terrifying, especially when you’re not coming from like a culture that of people that that’s not where you socialize or whatever.

Like here that’s like super normal and people who don’t drink go to the bar. So socially people like bring their toddlers to the bar to like, hang out. It’s not a big deal. Right. And it was, yeah, that was more of a big deal before we had the community center. And even now like that we have the community center still, like the bar sometimes is where there’s something going on or where there’s people or it really just depends.

It’s nice to have the options, but, um, yeah, I mean, I don’t know.

I think people are. What’s terrifying about putting yourself out there is vulnerability and the risk of rejection. Right? Right, right. So back to the checkboxes, you can make your, you know, like social needs survey or whatever. Like, I need my close personal circle of people to be all, you know, this, this, this, or this.

Like they have to check the boxes of, we all have to agree on political things. We all have to agree on social thing, right. Something like that. But you can find people, you can, you know, post that online or on the, on the bulletin board at the Finland, at the, uh, the store down here, you know, is take out a personal ad.

Right. Um, and people could check all those boxes and you could meet them and really not actually get along. You know, like that’s the part that. Is hard about that. Like, or that’s the part about that? That like people forget, I think it doesn’t work like that. It’s like, yeah. Cool. It’s great. If you have some similar interests or something in common, you have to have somewhere to start.

But I mean, if you’re in a situation where you can interact with people and you start to do it, you’re going to start to find that you have things in common. And I think that’s really, what’s the most important, um, is what we have in common, not what we have different. Um, and again, not putting yourself out there is like different for everybody, what they’re comfortable with doing, you know?

And, and I have a lot of sympathy for people who, you know, for just how, just how, like how hard it is to be vulnerable. Um, But I don’t know. I mean, I think people are craving connection. And I think that if it’s, I don’t know if it’s, you know, I don’t, I don’t know, like, I, I guess I have these experiences where I’d go to a more populated places and I’m really aware of, and especially now I have no idea now, cause I haven’t been anywhere, very populated.

And now that there’s COVID, and it’s hard because people are wearing masks and whatever, but I don’t know. I mean, I managed to make eye contact with people in the grocery store and somebody in the grocery store was like commenting on my hair or something, you know? And I mean, I don’t know. I just feel like there are many opportunities to like connect with people.

Um, uh, Yeah, I think it’s, uh, uh, in Charles Eisenstein did this like workshop. I think I was telling you about this, where he had people just sit across the table for like a whole, like a whole minute and stare into each other’s eyes. And people were really uncomfortable with that. And, um, understandably, we’re really conditioned not to do that.

That’s almost too much. It’s too intimate. You do that with people that you’re close with and not with strangers, but what people were finding is that they did it and then they didn’t want to stop, you know, like once they got over the initial, like it’s freaky weird. They were like, this is so cool. And he was just like, it’s free.

you know, so, I mean, I’m just like people on the bus, you know, or I don’t know. I mean, uh, Yeah, I dunno. I also had this friend a long time ago, who was convinced that he was meeting his soulmate every time he randomly connected with someone in the coffee shop, you know, so you can go overboard with that, but like, it, it it’s okay.

Like he met some really cool people in the coffee shop. Like they weren’t his soulmates, but it was still cool. You know? I don’t know. Yeah. I think, um, I mean, it’s, it’s one thing to put yourself out there. I think sometimes people put themselves out there, but they’re wearing a shield. And so they sort of have this idea of like, this is how I am and this is how I’m going to be.

But then they also have these preconceived ideas about how others are going to be to, you know, even if they check all the boxes, like there’s still a preconceived expectation, I guess, of how people are going to be. And then whenever you go in. Either a larger community thing, or you’re trying to make, you know, find your inner circle of people.

Um, when you have expectations about how other people are or assumptions or judgements, preconceived ideas, um, and you’re going into it with almost this like protective shield, because you’re allowing yourself some vulnerability, but like you’re not allowing yourself too much vulnerability because the rejection or the risk of humiliation, or, um, even, even feeling like it was a waste of your time or something is like really real.

But I challenged that because first and foremost, I think that that deprives the other person of like a full experience with you. Like, they might not know what they’re getting into because you’re not being your authentic self because you’re being like guarded. And then the second thing I think is that when we have that like protective shield, because we don’t want to risk rejection.

Then we’re also not curious through, and without curiosity, you tend to be really close. Yeah. Which will, and if you’re not curious about other people, you’re not gonna develop a relationship with them. You’re not going to develop a community. You know what I mean? Like you, you have to want to care about what is going on.

I mean, and honestly, that’s one of the feel. I feel like the things that has led me into greater friendships than I’ve ever had before in my life is something weird happens and I don’t get, get it, you know, I’m like, okay, what just happened? We’re disagreeing or something feels uncomfortable or whatever.

And instead of just being like, you know, shut down or angry or crabby or something like that, Being like, what was that all about? And just saying that out loud and then like letting them tell you. And like, I feel like I wouldn’t maybe even be able to do that. If people hadn’t done that for me, you know, to be like, look, you did this thing and I don’t get it.

You know? Like I feel, I feel about it. Yeah. And like, I feel like you and I have had some, like, moments like that, where you’re just like, you did this thing and I have no idea why. And like, would you care to explain that to me? Because yeah. You know, and like, I feel like that has like really deepened our friendship.

And that’s like really deep in pretty much like every friendship that I have that I feel like is worth having. It has moments like that where, you know, like, yeah, like something crappy happens. We one of us has like crappy feelings about it. And we’re like, why, why is your why? Like, why do I have crappy feelings about that?

Is this just me? No, wait, it’s something really did happen. I’m not just making that up. What just happened? And like, just fricking saying that. Yeah. And then like allowing the other person some time to explain, and maybe their explanation sucks, but like you have more of an understanding then, you know, and yeah.

And it keeps the relationship open versus when you’re like closed off and, and I think being closed off and we can get into this like more when we talk about like personal relationships. But I think that being closed off, whether it’s to, uh, new experiences, new places, new ideas, new community, like whatever being closed off.

It is a protective mechanism. And of course it comes from a place of like trauma. Like of course it comes from being rejected in the past or having a bad experience. So, I mean, it’s understandable. And at the same time, if we continue to try to create community through the lens of like the assumption that everyone’s going to reject us or everyone is going to think we’re weird, or we can’t be our authentic selves because there’s this risk of rejection or being called out or like, whatever, it really isn’t serving anyone.

And it actually isn’t creating that like deep felt sense of community. It’s, it’s like playing community, but it’s not, it’s not authentic, you know? Right. No, I agree. I think that’s it. Like you actually have to, you can’t just play community. You have to do it. And I know that’s hard. Like, you know, it takes fucking work.

Yeah. Cause it’s just the same with like interpersonal relationships. It’s like interpersonal relationships. Bigger and bigger and more broad scales, you know, it’s like, and you can’t have like a seriously deep, you know, intimate relationship with everybody in your community. You don’t want to, but you have to be able to be able to be around each other, I guess, and, and be like secure, feel secure.

And I mean, I think that’s a thing that, that’s what I mean, that’s what I mean about, like, I forget about how people don’t have this. Like, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t feel secure constantly in every single I have a lot of insecurity. I have a lot of insecure attachment issues and whatever, but like, I do have this, like, I don’t know.

I feel like when some of the really awful things were happening a couple of years ago with my like work, um, I had this like moment where I was just like, you know, if the worst happens, the worst that ever happens is like, I lose my relationship and my house and my job and my everything. I will like live in a hut on the hill behind my house.

And like, you know, you know, like I would have felt you a tiny house, but I, it was no, it’s my connection with that hill. I was asleep, but it’s like, at least I have that. I have the woods, I have the grass, I have the trees I have, I know how to, you know, find enough food to survive and I’ll be okay. And like I realized like pretty much immediately upon having that thought, like how ludicrous it was, you know, like that is not, that’s not where we’re at, you know, but I was just like, I have this, I have, that is my community.

It’s it’s, that hill is where I live. That’s my community. Like the beings that live there with me, we were in community, you know, um, And then, but then I also, then, I mean, I was like, okay, I’m silly. I have so many other people as well, that would also help me, or like, are going to like, if this were, and it was a thing where I was actually trying not to make a big community, frack us out of it or whatever.

Yeah. You handled that really well. I was trying to not talk about it real openly because I didn’t want people to take sides and I didn’t want it to become this big, hairy deal that split the community. Um, but I was like aware of like, if people knew some of the details of this, they would totally be on my side.

And like, I don’t, I didn’t want that. Like I had the, I guess, I don’t know, space and privilege and presence of mind and whatever to be like, that’s not what I want to be able to choose that that’s not, not how to handle it, but it, I felt it gave me a sense of security to know that. Like, or maybe it’s not even that they’d be on my side.

It’s just that, like, I have people that care about me, you know? Like I have a lot of people that care about me. Like, and even if, you know, like maybe we’re not even super intimate, you know, or whatever, like we’re not, it’s not like a super close relationship, but like I have these like weird old community guys that I like listen to them, do their weird old community guy thing.

And like, they have my back, you know, like they’re my buddies. And like, if they come tell me about something that they’re indignant about, I listen. And if there’s something I can legitimately do about it, and it’s not ridiculous, I try to help them out, you know, but like, and I, and they would do the same for me.

And like, I don’t know, I just, that’s so valuable. And I do agree. You’re acknowledged that like so many people don’t have that and that. That’s really hard. Like when things, when the shit hits the fan and you don’t have people, or, you know, that’s what I see going on with like the cancel culture stuff is like, you learn who your real friends are, I guess, because there’s people who can’t deal with it and leave.

And, um, crises are like that. And, you know, you just, it gets things, get stripped back, back to their like basic what you, here’s, what you need. Um, but at the same time, like, and I, but that’s where I come back to it of like, no one is disposable. Like I believe after experiencing having experiences like that, that I don’t want to be, I don’t want to do that to anybody.

You know? Like I don’t, I want people to always have, you know, someone that they can talk to at the very least, you know, it’s like, maybe you did something sucky. I don’t know. But like, let’s go for a walk. Yeah. That doesn’t make you less human. And I don’t necessarily want to hang out with some people because I didn’t, I don’t, I’m not, I don’t trust them or whatever.

I have a lot of trust things, but at the same time, like, I don’t know when you’re removed from a situation and it’s not personal. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to be that way to be like, well, I don’t know. Like you seem like maybe you need somebody not necessarily on your side. Cause I don’t believe in this whole sides thing, but like to have to talk to, to have your back a little bit.

You’re human you’re. Okay. I don’t know. Yeah. Well, that’s a good place to stop and go get more tea.

 

 

All right guys. That is where honor. And I are wrapping up this first part of a two-part conversation that we’re having. This was our one part about larger community. And you know, whether that’s your city, your neighborhood, your apartment, building your small town, and then we kind of moved into smaller community. And in the next episode,

We’re going to talk about close friendships, um, cultivating close friendships, and it’s a very meaningful conversation. I can’t wait for you to hear it, but that is going to come up next week on our we’ll be back on the podcast. Um, so thank you so much for joining us and because honor is not on the internet, like the rest of us are, which is amazing.

It’s one of the things I love about her. Um, there’s no website, there’s no Instagram page. There’s nothing. It’s just, she’s, she’s my friend. She’s my best friend. And I wanted to have her on the podcast because. I don’t know anyone who knows anything more about community than she does. Like she hates being called an expert, but I definitely think she’s an expert at community. And she has certainly taught me so much about community and.

How did you community healthy? Like we were talking at the beginning of this episode about church and like, you kind of have to tick all the boxes and conform and comply with the rules in order to fit in. But honor really has taught me about cultivating community where there’s a sense of belonging, not just fitting in that you are welcome to be whoever you are in, whatever.

Um, quirky ways you show up that that is allowed and not only is it allowed, but it’s welcomed because that means you have strengths and gifts. And things to offer that other people in the community don’t have so different is beautiful. And okay. And shocker. Different is even safe. So thank you for tuning in to this episode and we will see you back ๐Ÿ“ next week for part two did you enjoy the show? I’d really appreciate it. If you took a few moments to rate the podcast,

Into the world.

community Cast episodes monthly zoom calls a community forum and most importantly you’ll find your people go to lindsay lockett.com forward slash circle to join