I have been silent on this list for so long, I don’t even know where to start.
I left Asheville in October and hit the road in my new outfitted truck, named “Bubble”. How that came about is its own story; but two factors weighed in heavily: first, after Covid hit there was no longer any reason for me to stay in Asheville, and I decided it was time to move more aggressively into my vision of community, maybe even doing a tour of eco-villages with the goal of homesteading some place; and second I could no longer afford rent. The idea was utterly brilliant, but like many of my ideas, my enthusiasm ran a little ahead of reality, as I completed the project right before winter, and almost all the intentional communities are currently shut down for Covid. So I moved back to Philadelphia for the winter, where I am currently very happy, even as I contemplate the utter debacle of my life in 2020.
I don’t know how much I want to tell about all this in a public forum (how much y’all want to hear), but I will give it one paragraph. It’s tough to turn 60 and to find myself with no job, no money, no woman, and no home; to look back on at least 3 years of back-to-back business and relational failures; but even more painful to realize that I am actually much crazier than I realized, and going back as long as I can remember (although lately, I seem to be getting worse); and furthermore, that I am also a much greater asshole than I realized.
But in the end, it all worked out, and that is, perhaps, a story worth telling. First, it is a fact that I enjoy intense experiences (I like to quote Victor Baranco here: deep down, we all want to experience “the full range of human emotions”. I am not alone there, although my characterology magnifies that trait). But maybe more importantly, I feel a bit like “the phoenix rising from the ashes”. There has been a kind of radicalization of me, across the board: in terms of my intentional community mission, of my Authentic Relating mission, and my politics. And as difficult as the last few months have been, I rather like this new version of me. It also appears to me that the whole world has gone crazy, which has helped tremendously in giving me more self-compassion.
- Radicalization of my intentional community mission: as I look back, all the peak experiences of my life have been related to living in community and to the women I have loved. This includes the 6 years that Rebekah and I ran the Trellis community in Philadelphia. I was a relational idiot then, but it was still an unforgettable experience (largely thanks to Rebekah, I can see now). It is time to resurrect that dream.
- Radicalization of my Authentic Relating mission: after 4 years of running private circles for my friends, I have gone public with the offer and it is being well-received. I have also sold the web business as I don’t seem to be able to work in tech any more.
- Radicalization of my politics: the election was a political awakening for me. The issue there, is my dismay, terror, and rage that 74 million Americans appear to have lost their minds, cheering on as a self-evident sociopath attempts a coup against the only remaining democratic super-power, even as we contemplate the probability of a mass human extinction within our children’s lifetime. I just can’t sit idly and watch this any more. What I can do is maybe small, but I will do it. I will teach relational intelligence and I will write.
Fortunately, we can still watch TV
Despite the tragic scarcity of parties and the sad state of dating, there is some good news: I have noticed a sharp uptick in the quality of television. I share some resources there in Best classic movies, documentaries and TV series of 2020.