I think that Bill McKibben and I are on different pages, although maybe in the same longish chapter. Anyway, I thought that this short essay on self-sufficiency and community was good.


One thought on “Self-sufficiency

  1. I found this article interesting, too. I spent my early childhood in a “visiting” community, teen and early adult years in the suburbs, and now I live in Manhattan. I’ve been trying for ten years now to figure out just how one handles the urban paradox of being surrounded by people, and even praying for/with them or delivering meals, but rarely getting to know them intimately. This is even though I belong to a church and several smaller groups.

    Some of it, I’m sure, is my own fault. But a big missing factor, I think, is the leisurely visiting that I remember in early childhood, and perhaps also the sense that we know much about the other person’s past. It seems that a lot of conversations I hear are mostly about scheduling for other events. Maybe it’s the nature of postmodern motherhood? I’m used to it by now, and accept it, but it *is* puzzling. It feels like we’re all spread really thin. Sometimes it even feels like that Kurt Vonnegut story “Harrison Bergeron,” where people have devices implanted to distract them from putting their thoughts together.

    I think McKibben’s article *sounds* ideal. It’s something I actively work towards. But it seems a long way from present reality. What does one do in the gaps? (Pray, I’m sure! Invite people over for lunch, maybe. And shop at farmers’ markets.)

    And ironically, one of my better “talking” friends in Manhattan for several years was the copy editor of this little magazine, *In Character.* She’s now moved to another city. We used to sit and talk about books, art, education, food, and occasionally politics, while our kids played. She was the only person I’ve ever made friends with in a museum!

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