I travel to Oregon to visit intentional communities in the Eugene/Blue River area and find Paradise…
I attended 4 days of the SXSW Music Festival in Austin. However, as my friend Celeste put it, it was a “dud” this year. It was either raining or the music at the time I was trolling the venues was punk rock, not the best for Diana Dancer. Enough said; I am content to look forward to my birthday dancing. We are having an Aries party on Friday. Then a Memphis party with the Wild Dancing Women of Wisconsin. Then my birthday party in Austin. Lots of fun ahead!
I headed out from Wimberley, TX to Portland, OR yesterday morning at 3:30. I had gotten a rental car the day before to return from Austin to Wimberley, so I headed for the airport at 4:30 am yesterday, dropped off the car, flew on Frontier to Denver and then Portland, where I took an Amtrak bus to Eugene. I discovered that the buses and trains on the West Coast are a cut above the rest of the country. I plan to do a lot more investigation of public transportation in the States. I talked to a woman at the Amtrak Station, who is living in Portland and was traveling to Vancouver, B.C. Her train fare, one way, as a senior citizen, was $108. She loves the train and the buses from California to Canada.
I arrived at the Portland airport, where it was gray and chilly. I put on my first Aries birthday present, a ultra light down coat from my niece Barbara. I will take it on my travels and will need it next winter in Spain, Italy, Scotland, and the west coast of Ireland. It rolls up extremely small and will take up very little room in my new, small, lightweight suitcase from Switzerland. I ordered a medium sized back pack/duffel on wheels. That is all I will be carrying on my year around the world. I later discarded the suitcase and use the duffel, a Nepalese backpack and a large, Italian leather purse that I bought in Rome. I am balanced and can easily walk from plane to cab or room train to airbnb.
I had a blast on the bus to Eugene and made friends with the folks across the aisle, who are retirees, and who have lived in Eugene almost all their lives. I told them about my travels and my intention to write a book on communities around the world. They gave me some suggestions, and we exchanged contact information. I am finding out that the people in this area of Eugene/Blue River have great consciousness of community, and I am delighted. Everyone I have talked with so far is doing exactly what is needed for a good life.
I am extremely interested in community around the world because I feel that extended family and community have been destroyed by “civilization”. Life is getting harder and harder for most of us. People are living in poverty and isolation, some with resulting mental illness, because we don’t have a support system any longer. I believe that our social system needs to change back to tribes, villages, local government, hands-on living, without the detachment and resulting pain of our present day lives.
I have lived communally and love it. I am here near Blue River Oregon, about 50 minutes from Eugene, staying with 12 members of my friend Carol’s extended family in a house in McKenzie valley, surrounded by low mountains. The house was built in 1928 and is on four acres. It is perfect. I made breakfast for the family this morning (see photos).
The aquifer here is one of the two most clean and extensive in the world; the another is in Russia. There are people moving here whose aim is to protect this water. I am thrilled to drink out of the tap, recycle extensively, compost the leavings from our meals, play with the babies.
The focus in this area of Southern Oregon is community. There is a huge Farmers’ Market on Saturday, several wonderful family-owned natural foods and organic foods groceries and many events where people get together and help each other to learn what they need to know and to produce what they need to live. I love it here!
I’m off to walk in the gorgeous, moist greenness of rural, Southern Oregon. This must be one of the most beautiful places in the world. I will find out…