fri 04 nov 2011 18:48:54 witte de withstraat
paradox of commune
i've been thinking a lot about it, going off grid somewhere and living together with my friends. maybe a few years from now, if i live a few more years. try to learn to do some new things that i might not be ready for. like plant something, or carry sacks of cement. i would like to build a dome and sleep under it at least one night of my life. all the things i couldn't do in 1967 because i was too little, you see. and do them instead when i'm too old.
life in the city (especially this one) is good to me. but when i think of what things i usually want from it, and which places i frequent, i realize that my amsterdam could fit in a small market square. the city is a collection of key places with tram rides or short walks between them.
so sometimes i wish i could just go live close together with all the people i like, and some that i don't like. it's funny hearing that from me, the person who so often just wants to be alone.
the paradox of it: purpose versus randomness.
when you choose your comrades, you tend to sacrifice some of the unpredictabiity that keeps people interesting. i only need 100 people to keep me awake. but i may need a constant million to find that hundred. if instead i marry the hundred, life could calcify real fast. so the only way to do it is to somehow ensure that people are free to come and go. somehow.
on the other hand, a different hundred every day is no fun either, then you're just living in a ramada inn.
it's like you need a balance of purpose and aimlessness, too much of either kills it. people in general want to feel free. they may not believe they can ever be free, but we have to admit we want it. so if a group of people move in together and then start to feel trapped together, they've kinda defeated the purpose.
what makes people feel trapped usually has to do with property ownership, or relationships of need. it's hard to just move on if you own a share of something, or if you are so desperately necessary that you'd be saddled with guilt if you walked. it would be so much easier if one could do this without ownership or dependence. those dreadful burdens. maybe you can't really banish ownership and dependence. but maybe you can intentionally minimize them somehow. i'm open to ideas.
what's good about hanging out at a nice bar is that people come and go at will, stay as long as they feel like it. because none of them owns the place, and they're not required to be there. and the fact that they showed up is usually an indicator that they can support themselves with a drink or two. can dwelling ever resemble life in a bar? i dunno. sounds like a long shot. nice principle though.