Thursday, January 7, 2010

MEME 2: Leaving My House

Let me share with you what I am learning .....

In my previous post, on turning off my TV, I said the following

What's Pagan about this? Making a choice to get "OUT" - maybe even outside (oooh scarey) - to go sit in my beautiful back yard and read - or knit - or do Soduko puzzles - or just watch the clouds and the birds in the birdfeeders and admire the flowers - to go out even in winter and make a fire in the fire pit and watch the moon and the stars and listen to the city and the wind in the branches of my walnut tree. To go for a long walk in one of our lovely city parks.  To go make peace with the trees in Assiniboine Forest (we had a disagreement in 2004, and I haven't gotten over it - maybe its time).  Most of us don't spend enough time outside - or if we do - we are simply moving from one pre-occupation to another, and we don't really pay attention to the urbanized natural world around us.  We are part of the urban ecosystem - not just observers of it.
So what does "leaving my house" mean - in terms of building community?  It means interaction with other people.  It means going where other people are. It means participating.  It might even mean activism.  It means putting myself OUT THERE - with all the shades of meaning implied in that statement.

People gather at our Provincial Legislature for a variety of reasons - sometimes for celebrations - sometimes for memorials - sometimes to effect change in our politician's world view.  If there is something happening that I feel strongly about - I could join my fellow citizens and participate.  Maybe see other people I know.  Maybe connect to people I haven't met yet.  Maybe eat a hot dog from a cart and support a local independent businessman.

We have great parks here in Winnipeg.  Why don't we pack a picnic basket, take a blanket and go read in the sun at the park more often.  Nature and people - and a conservatory and a zoo (sorry don't do zoos, but others might).  There are free concerts at the Lyric Bandshell throughout the summer.  I love music.  why don't I go OUT more often?  Free is best.  Concert tickets can be pricey - but the Folk Festival is worth every penny - and there is definitely a sense of community that occurs for 5 days in July.

Charity events - for causes I support - or causes my friends support and I want to support my friends.  Volunteerism - like maybe taking a shift at Winnipeg Harvest (I have friends who volunteer there regularly).   Finding opportunities to use my gifts and talents outside of my usual channels.  Art galleries, museums, the Forks (ugh - too crowded) - the Exchange - Little Italy on Corydon - lots of great places to go for a drink - a snack - a meal - a good cup of coffee.

How many people do I wish I could spend more time with? Why not meet "out" rather than staying "in"?  Especially since our summers are so short.  By doing more - and deepening my connections to people - clan - tribe - family - friends - acquaintances - I can deepen my relationships - and expand my community.  I might even get to introduce Acquaintance A to Friend B and watch a new friendship or relationship take shape.  Or witness the birth of a new grove / coven / circle - who knows? I could mend a broken friendship or two by meeting on neutral ground.  I could fall in love all over again over candlelight or a picnic basket on the grass in front of the Lyric Bandshell on a hot summer evening under the moonlight.  Did I mention Canada Day Fireworks?

Other than the circles I cast either by myself at home, or with friends at The Witchery, other Pagan Community events happen at various locations around town.  Beltane in the Park - the Full Moon Group - Open Circles for the Sabbats - Gaia Gathering Fundraiser events for the Canadian National Pagan Conference - classes by various elders - Meet Ups - Mentoring Groups - Coffee Cauldrons - Pagan Community Socials - Psychic Fairs - Sales or events at Paganish bookstores and Occult Supply Stores - there is a lot going on "out there somewhere".

The only way I can meet new people - reconnect with old friends - mend fences - build bridges - get involved - make a difference - do something new - is to Do Something Different and get my butt of the sofa and into the places where the people are.  Online is one thing - the interconnectedness of the web reduces distance and compresses time.  It is a good thing.  AND - when we meet face to face - and share a drink or a meal or a real time conversation - we connect differently - energetically - and that connection is the building block of  the foundations of what might evolve into community.

Enjoy the Day,


  1. Nice post Susan. Hey, do you know how to do a Picot bind off stitch?

  2. Being that this is about community, perhaps you've found a use for Foursquare? It sounded exciting - letting people know what we're doing. Now that the Everywhere feature is on, perhaps we should start letting people know not just when we're out socially - but when we're out doing community building beyond our usual frivolity?

    I think it'd be awesome to see check-ins coming from Winnipeg Harvest, or soup kitchens. Or even the Witchery.