Then we got the news that the SCOTUS decided all my fellow citizens should be free to hide a gun in their pocket, not a freedom that I embrace. I found myself beginning to wonder if freedom might be over-rated. I questioned whether that sentiment would go over well with my new neighbors, so I decided to try again later.
The next day, I ran across following quote while reading Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, The Book of Joy, about the Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu: ‘Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space, lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and happiness.’ I love this idea that as long as I have some cognitive control, I can think whatever I want. While this conception has personal appeal, it also made me feel privileged and oblivious to the stifling oppression that folks around the world face. So, I decided to try again later.
And, today, as I got the email that the freedom remarks are due tomorrow, I found myself overwhelmed by the outpouring of rage on social media about the loss of reproductive freedom for so many women in America. I was reminded that it’s easy to take our freedoms for granted, so I decided to write something.
So, my thoughts on freedom do not cohere into a pithy newsletter contribution, rather, I am as perplexed as ever about freedom. Is it a state of mind or a state of being? Can we have too much of it? And perhaps, most relevant to Washington Commons, when does my neighbor’s freedom impinge on my well-being?” - Becki
“Your request brought to mind a cheerful song I often sing while ‘cat dancing.’ You need a cooperative cat who will let you hold him and dance around the room, at least for a minute or two. The song is ‘Free A Little Bird,’ and you can hear it on YouTube.” - Fran
“Freedom for me this 4th of July, is being able to lightly salt my salad one year after my heart attack (July 2, 2021).” - Patrick
“Thich Nhat Hahn’s gatha ‘Breathing in, I am home - Breathing out, I am free’ defines freedom for me. May all beings, visible and invisible, past, present and future be intimate with their breath. May they be home, be free…” - Sandra
“‘Freedom! Freedom! Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, I'm almost gone, a long, long way from home. When I need my mother or my brother, I can telegraph them from my heart. Freedom! Freedom!’ (Richie Havens, Freedom [Motherless Child]).
I'm dating myself with lyrics from Richie Havens. (No, I wasn't at Woodstock in August 1969. A story for another time.)” - Stu P
“‘It’s about freedom,’ I said. I was one of many speakers testifying in support of access to sidewalks by people with disabilities. The speaker before me noted our city council’s diverse makeup. She said to them, ‘Many of you wouldn’t be here if people hadn’t demonstrated for civil rights.’
Her statement brought tears to my eyes and the realization that the issue was about freedom — and fighting for freedom. Freedom to move about unhindered by obstacles. Freedom to go where you want to go... on foot or in a wheelchair. Freedom deserved by all.” - Anne
“‘Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,’ (Kris Kristofferson, Me and Bobby McGee).
‘And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor,’ (Declaration of Independence, 1776).
‘Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here,’ said Captain Parker, to those first farmers attempting to secure their rights. Engraved on the Minuteman Monument in the Lexington MA green where the first shots were heard.” - Tom
“As we approach this July 4th, I must say I am worried for this noble experiment that is America. We seem to be hanging by a thread, deeply divided, fearful of the 'other', and confused over facts and 'alternate facts.' In looking for a quote on freedom for this time, I found the following one by Aung San Suu Kyi's particularly poignant:
‘The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is the freedom from fear.’” - Barbara
“I value not only freedom of religion, but from religion. There’s lots more I value, including the freedom of women in our country to control their own bodies, health and destinies, freedom of movement and the freedom to be in our remaining unspoiled natural spaces.” - Chris H.
“This is a timely and thought-provoking subject. If not already taken, I would like to list this quote from Herbert Hoover as my reflection on freedom: ‘Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.’” - Carol
“Freedom to choose to live with people who are like-minded, caring, and who are committed to making our community and world a better place.” - Lisa
“Today, I must remind myself of the lessons from history about the courage and perseverance of those who fought against injustice, corrupt power, genocide, greed and countless atrocities toward humankind. To this end, today, I am inspired by the following quotes, both by Gandhi:
‘It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.’
‘The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.’” - Durriyah
“Talking with friends this morning, we can't feel as free as we did with Roe V. Wade in place. Could say more, but that's it for now.” - Willa
“Disney Plus first made the live recording of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway rap musical, Hamilton available on July 3, 2020. This deliciously irreverent version of our founding story (America’s) was a wonderful way to celebrate the Fourth just one month into our journey with our cohousing community, Washington Commons. I see parallels. We both have a vision statement based on universal/not nationalistic values, we cherish freedom, justice and equality, we prize diversity and want all voices to be heard. We are willing to commit and sacrifice to achieve our goal.
‘Immigrants, we get the job done!’ (Hamilton, 2015).
‘I’m just like my country. I’m young, scrappy and hungry,’ (Hamilton, 2015).
‘A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people,’ (Declaration of Independence, 1776).” - Lenore
Laughing yoga loosens body and mind at SuperWeekend.
Washington Commons has turned its attention to building community; creating the culture we want and deepening relationships with one another and the larger community we are joining. No permit required.
To this end, on May 13-15 WCC members from near and far gathered in person and via Zoom for a second SuperWeekend event. The weekend was devoted to 3 essential aspects of healthy relationships: 1) Effective Project Management, 2) Community Glue, 3) Good Process and Communication Skills. We kicked off Friday evening with a shared meal at our favorite local eatery, The TreeHouse Cafe. We would learn on Sunday that food is the #1 way of attending to 'Community Glue.’
Saturday morning, members were treated to a workshop with Danny Milman (Construction Project Manager) on options, upgrades and status of construction. We then topped off our "pot of good feelings" with lunch at Midway Bar, followed by some Non-Violent Communication (NVC) in the form of Laughing Yoga, led by member Durriyah. After laughter, a walk in the riparian woods along the Sacramento River north of our community led by Anne included some litter removal in support of SPIU (Sacramento Picks It Up).
Having worked up an appetite, members topped off the "pot" again at Burgers and Brew and joined in another neighborhood activity; Second Saturday Sacramento. Transit to and from activities was arranged by member, Jenny. As a long-time resident of West Sacramento and Sacramento, Jenny gave us the inside scoop on where to eat and what to do.
On Sunday the SuperWeekend continued as a hybrid in-person/Zoom event. Two workshops were facilitated by Sarah Arthurs of Prairie Sky CoHousing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She introduced Diana Leafe Christian's three aspects of healthy relationships as a framework for thinking about the culture and governance of the community we are creating. We explored these aspects with our future neighbors in breakout rooms. We examined the governance and project management we have in our established committees, and did a bit of team building within those teams by coming up with a motto or team song. One break-out room came up with the slogan for how we've accomplished so much already, "Hanging In, Hanging Loose, and Hanging Out." It was cheered by all.
Break snacks were provided by Allyce and Frances between workshops, and a catered lunch was served at the spacious West Sacramento Community Center after the workshops. The weekend concluded with our General Meeting. It was a full weekend, rich in shared enjoyable activities, which we learned creates oxytocin — the hormone that produces feelings of trust and gratitude. And that’s the ‘Glue’ to building community.
The SuperWeekend was brilliantly planned and organized by the talented SuperWeekend team of Rachel, Jenny, Cathy, and Evelyn. Thank you all.
FRANCES & ALLYCE
with Nemo & Elizabeth Warren
The new members featured this month all have ties to California and were drawn to Washington Commons' urban Cohousing setting. Friends, family, education, work, and play are the forces that attracted, kept or are returning them to Northern California and the Sacramento Valley. We are excited to be building community with you and look forward to working and playing together in what we create.
Welcome, Barbara, Leonard, & Pat! We are so happy you have joined our Cohousing family!
July brought Three! new member households to Washington Commons. One couple is relocating to the Sacramento area due to a new job position and the other two households were drawn to Cohousing as the pandemic and life changes made living in community with others a sensible and attractive lifestyle.
Welcome JH & JiChul, Becki & Alec, and Jay! We are excited to be building community with you!