Thursday, August 6, 2015

Chapter Three: Challenging the Status Quo

I cannot believe it has been four weeks already since we arrived.  I had meant to write more often, but somehow the time here has taken over.  Out of the month we have been here, there has been all of two days when we have had quiet time.

The place reveals itself as one of gathering.  We call it the Veglio math.  If you start out with plans for 6 people for dinner, just automatically double it.   I have now learned that when you make a risotto, use two handfuls per person not one as instructed by our teacher. Then, add 49% more, carry the two and arrive at the right amount for this place.  Always assume there is the need to make a little more room at the tavola.

After our initial workshop for permaculture,  we had about a week where we kicked back in Barcelona and then had a few days to ourselves to paint the upstairs.

For the past week, we have been joined by a group calling themselves Pesci Piccolo(little fishes).  Starting with just a few people the first days, more show up each day.   The group is a collection of artists, musicians, actors and other creative from mostly Italy and France, but also now places like Egypt and Iran.
They gather each summer to create during a two-week retreat.  Each person conceives an idea that is then evaluated.  Teams are selected for each idea and then a “show” is produced in the local area. 

It has been incredible to have the house filled with music from all corners of the world.  Guitar, flute, stand up bass and accordion so far that join voices on songs ranging from traditional Piemontese to the sound track of Brother Where Art Thou.

Much like our first group, these are mostly young people who are looking to create a different life.  Challenging the status quo of the past few decades and seeking to return to a more shared life in community.   Not content to take a traditional job and the trappings of the accumulation of stuff.

This concept of community has been the biggest eye opener for Linda and I this Summer. At first, we were a bit hesitant to have all these “strangers” in the house but we have been amazed at how respectful each of them has been.

Maybe we can bring some of this spirit back to Orange County.  For there, we are far too isolated in our houses and in our cars and in our pursuits of individual success.  This re-balancing seems to be a recurring theme in not just our lives but so many around us.