Since the death of Paolo Soleri in 2013, there's been a short ton of discussion about "what happens next" taking place on a Facebook forum, among other equally complicated forums; much of it's been raising dust for me as much of it, IMO, has been wheel-spinning whining that can only lead to much more frustration. Blathering about how Cosanti Foundation doesn't do this or that, doesn't do something else, isn't constructive; it's just a lot of blah blah that's a bothersome waste of time.
Although I can readily acknowledge that dissing something you love is not unfamiliar to me as an experience, I'm here to say: It doesn't help. The much more interesting challenge is to not give in to the mindset of frustration, perplexity, self-abnegating ego-tectonic self-aggrandizement, which are right at the center of such blather.
Witnessing all the complaining is deja vu recreation of the SOSO I felt compelled to put behind in 1986 when I decided that if I wanted to help actualize change at Arcosanti (or anywhere else), I had a duty to get on with being my own person, with my own small life, with doing whatever it takes to Learn To Do Good (as said the cross-stitched sampler hanging on a wall in the home of childhood friends on Long Island.)
That embroidered sampler's directive is analogous the one Ani Pema Chodron offers in her 1994 book, Start Where You Are, from which the title of this blog entry is taken. Therefore, to start with what I see: Now is where we are. What I see from where we are now is a need for the Builders of Arcosanti to put their heads together, to get their acts together.
The simple fact is that the Cosanti Foundation can't do anything for Arcosanti without the help of gangs of Arconauts. So if Arconuats want to see Arcosanti 'more better built' - Arconauts have to figure out how to work together to implement whatever changes they want to see happen.
With that in mind, I have begun asking Arconauts to make wish-lists of what they want. I've got a hunch there will be a fair amount of consensus about the needs. That leaves only the strategy to agree upon.
And strategy, we should know, is simply a matter of energy. Right intention requires commitment. Money is out there, it's available, can be raised to do what needs to be done. Personally, I find it impossible to believe a collective of Arconauts lacks sufficient brain-power and will to organize a cooperative.
That said, in the here and now of "starting where you are," one talented, enterprising individual Arconaut is simply forging ahead with a good idea by marketing a useful product on her own. If you'd like to contribute, click on the link at the top of this entry to reach her crowdfunding appeal.
While I am personally convinced we need a long-term strategy, it's great to see an immediately useful, Arconaut-initiated, project put forth in the straightforward way Erin is doing.
Remember, Arconauts: We Can! Venceremos!