Every year around the beginning of fall, like clockwork, I fantasize about joining or starting a commune. Something about the mix of brown tones everywhere make me want to hop on a loom in a prairie dress and roper boots, making wall hangings for the common areas in a large compound somewhere in the woods. The music I listen to gets a little more acoustic, a lot more soulful and I just want to hunker down and creaaaaate. Since I have to earn a living and can’t just stop working to be happy, this all usually culminates in me taking the first several days of the New Year to lock myself in the house for days, make art in the service of art (no end goal, no trying to sell it), going through my coffee table books about folk crafts, and listening to my favorite vinyls.
It’s usually soul albums and folk singers, but it never fails that I’ll also revisit the music of my favorite cult, The Source Family. Then I end up falling back down into a hole of reading about them incessantly and thinking, “Yeah, I’d be so into that and just get out before the jealousy and disharmony and death set in” (because, surprise surprise, Cults never end on a good note).
As an avid journaler, I try to get to the root of all my fears and desires, so this year I’ve finally sat down to figure out what I find so entrancing about communes and cults. It seems that the idea of communal living resonates with me- the idea of a chosen community that rejects notion of ownership in favor of sharing, having people I care about living in such close proximity, being able to make art with and near the people I care about. POTLUCKS. Really, it’s just the idea of grown up art school for hippies. Without the school aspect. Just the dorm living. Then, I come back to reality and remember that all cults end in spectacular failure for a reason. Greed, jealousy, and all the other ill that permeates all human societies. Whatareyagonnado?
SO! I’ll just go back to hanging out in parks, coming back home to make collages and thinking about how great my cult will be (before everyone starts sleeping with each other, fighting and we somehow choose a new messiah from the group that leads us to destruction).
On the commune, we’ll wear whites, taupes and browns. We’ll have a bunch of studios so we can all make our art and music. Yogis, please keep us fit. Comedians are needed- improv and stand up. Of course, some of you musicians will play after our open-air dinners. Would I go through the trouble of boiling chia seeds to make a hair moisturizer or would I just grow dreadlocks? We’ll have a place for both Oracle and Tarot readers. But do any of you think you’d be up for being the cheese maker? We’ll need a baker and a source for fresh cheese. Are jam sessions every night? What will we do for food? I suppose we’d have to produce it all ourselves. We’ll make and thrift all the clothes, duh.
It’ll be paradise (for at least a couple months. Maybe we’ll even last a year). Who’s in?