I had a dream last night about the coho community. Usually that’s some sort of nightmare or closure and sympathy that I desire. This time it was just funny.
I wasn’t part of the community but at a birthday party for someone that we were all friends with. I noticed that everyone at the party from the coho had taken a board game from the common house and wrapped it up and gave it as a gift to this person. I thought that was hilarious. Pillaging the common house instead of going out to get a gift.
It reminds me of a small town I lived in. Once a year they had a community wide yard sale. I looked forward to it my first year living there because I had my second baby and after seeing that we payed way too much for all the stuff with the first child, I wanted to get stuff cheap. I enjoyed finding a diaper genie (still never figured out how to refill it), a sit and play contraption, and a double stroller. I realized that it was just a way for the community to get rid of their trash by making it a treasure for others. It is recycling the same stuff around the same town.
I tried to find treasures here at the beach this past spring at the yard sale. However, the mansions just had the same old junk as anywhere else. No used beach tchotchkes to decorate my house like I wanted nor surf boards!
I loved that small town and how people hung out in the front porches. For awhile, all the parents even gathered nightly to talk on the road as the kids rode their fake bikes. Then, one kid hurt another kid and the parents argued over it and our street party nights were over. I thought that wouldn’t happen in cohousing because we were intentional. We had a conflict management team. We all agreed to work things out. I was so wrong!
Most people think intentional communities show the good in humanity. I found the opposite to be true. Some find it transformative. It changed me. I lost my hope in humanity. I still believe that most people are good in their hearts but in no way or circumstance do I trust groups. History has shown again and again that groups can make evil seem normal and people will act terribly in order to stay in the loop. I was even bit by a nice dog who was in a pack and had its chance to be mean.
I’m happy staying on the beach, enjoying neighbors who pop in like yesterday while I was online work but got my son down the hall to help with her technology question, and staying out of the crowd where it feels much safer.