It’s official: I’m a planner.  We opened the veto box at yesterday’s meeting, and there were only 3 slips of paper, all supportive comments (though this really wasn’t the time for comments — that was for the “input” box that was out for 10 days a few weeks ago.  In that, I got 5 positive pieces of input and one concern, which was from my partner Paxus, who said I don’t have enough time to be a planner!).  This isn’t an unusually low number for input — many people only comment if they feel like their opinion is controversial or specifically different than others’.

And so it begins.  I have three months as a “stand-in” planner, and then I can apply, if  I want, to be a full planner.  We’ll see how it goes.  Right now we’re asking some interesting questions about egalitartianism and members using their “prior assets”, money that they had before coming to Twin Oaks.  People don’t have to give it to the community when they move here, we just have an agreement that folks won’t use their prior assests while they live here, in order to keep us away from economic hierarchy (though it still exists here anyways for various reasons — we certainly aren’t perfect).  In this time of “lower economic abundance” (my own term — the vocab here is “austerity”, but my experience of life here is anything but austere), there are things that we often/usually communally provide that we can’t afford this year, like grapefruit and off-the-farm mental health care.  Some members have asked to use their prior assets to pay for things they want that they can’t get through the community anymore.   This is a silly question when it comes to grapefruit and other obvious luxuries (no way), and a difficult question when it comes to something like an expensive theraputic workshop.  Someone without prior assets wouldn’t be able to get this therapy unless we could find a way to provide for it with our collective resources.  Do we really want to keep someone from getting the kind of therapy they want, because we can’t pay for it, even if they individually can afford it?  No, of course not… We’re trying to figure out how to pay for it with community resources, possibly doing some kind of absorbable loan.

It’s complicated, this intentional living thing.

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