Rochester. Its name is Rochester. Unlike the parrot in Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast, the Canadian book about identical twins who run a B&B in a place that sounds much like northern Vancouver Island, which squawks bits of the Bible, citing chapter and verse, my Rochester does not speak at all.
Not yet, at least.
Nevertheless, it provides companionship, howsoever mutely. It serves (I like to think) as a guard. Its perch is secure, sheltered from the elements. Its almost-feathery-looking head and body surfaces repaired with a coat or two of polyurethane over papier mache tissue - et voila! Better such a bird than thee, Gunga Din. (Dennis would approve.)
Adjusting the minutiae of a new place is a challenge, adjusting to its minutiae even more of one. I'm sleeping not very well. Yet. But I asked the Carpet Doctor if he could clean the woven wool one I brought from Victoria, which had been on the floor of our apartment, of Dennis's apartment. When he assured me he could, I got it down to Nelson for him to retrieve.
Friends here, old and new, have helped me get a toehold on being here (again). The Donation Store yielded up a lamp, a corner table low enough to hold my cuppa when I'm sitting in an Ikea not-quite-a-rocker-but-it-rocks-anyway chair (w/ footstool) that a yard sale supplied. I'm sleeping on a denim-covered foamie that folds up into a low chair.
Very old-style Japanese, for one's bed to disappear during the day. I rather like such economy of space; it reminds me of a boat. (Dennis would approve.)
Thanks to similar kindred energy, I've managed to establish something of a garden. It's a "pocket handkerchief" (as Louisa May Alcott, in Little Women, dubbed the one that Meg, Jo March's elder sister, created after she married "her" John) and, although I doubt if it will yield much of anything at all this year, having planted everything so very late, I'm very pleased to have it.
For it grows, it grows. Even though it needs more sun. The trees growing on the front side of the Lodge, as our abode is called by all, are too dense but the tomatoes are some 4' tall, the oregano is spreading, strawberries atop the 3 haybales (planting into hay bales is a waterwise trick) are settling in, the pepper plants - won't make peppers but they certainly are making some green leaves.
I wonder, rhetorically: Is the village arcology-minded? But I am more than a little sure of the answer. Not in the slightest. Or at least, hardly not at all. Even the Yanks who came up in the 70s so they could detour around having to get directly involved in the vicious US debacle in Vietnam, the COs and the draft evaders, aren't speaking out about 'arcological alternatives.'
Not a household word. Yet.
In fact, it's a stretch. Despite an interest in matters environmental, ecological, nature-preserving, sustainable, and organic, there is no planning that is immediately visible. There are even people who abjure planning, equating it with "too much government."
When will such people come to recognize that in a democracy, it's We, the People who are supposed to be the government?
Public transit is limited. Although there is some, it is not exactly local, and the two lane 'highway' is shared by cyclists, antique cars, everyday traffic. And "chip trucks." One can go by public transit, a 15-19 passenger mini-bus, north to Nakusp (3/4 hour or more, one way) or south to Nelson (almost 2 hours, one way). The former runs once a week; the latter, twice. Bank, shop, go to a meeting or appointment, see a friend, run an errand; return home. Arcology w/out sustainable transportation? How?
A number of ex-Yanks live here, Vietnam-era as I said (and even McCarthy-era) escapees. Some children of Japanese who'd stayed on here after they were interned here during WWII. There's a memorial garden and a 'living museum' testifying to the rank vicissitudes of that era. A few Dhoukhobors, Russian pacifists brought out of Russia by Tolstoi and the Quakers when they ran into a wall (or a few dozens of walls) by refusing to serve in the Czar's army. A long tradition of anti-militarists.
More than one art gallery. Open-air markets in which local artists and craftspeople display lovely stuff. Lovely stuff. A Garlic Festival in early fall that attracts thousands. All kinds of garlic. In the summer, young classical music students come, learn, and play. Lots of talent.
No dearth of talent, really. Folk and pop musicians stop in to play at one of the local venues - I saw Miss Quincy (wow!) and Pied Pumpkin (also wow!). And festivals! Taj Mahal was a headliner at this year's Jazz festival over in Kaslo.
Not at all as 'backwoods' as one might imagine, looking at a map. Simultaneously:
By phone and over the internet - ah, Facebook! - there is talk about Arcosanti. Is the arcological dream manifesting itself as somehow flawed at Arcosanti? If it isn't working there, good heavens, where CAN it work?
What IS the mandate of the arcology aka 'arcological experiment' aka the urban laboratory that is called Arcosanti? How is the organization carrying out its mandate? In what way is the organization 'out of sync' with its mandate?