Greetings dear friends! I’m in the midst of a book titled, “Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times”, a gift given to my by the outstanding Chris Lee, and written by Paul Born. Paul Born lives and works in Cambridge, Ontario in Canada. Paul Born is the co-founder of the Tamarack Institute, http://www.tamarackcommunity.ca, whose ‘about me’ tab on their website reads:
“Founded in 2001, Tamarack is a charity that develops and supports learning communities to help people collaborate and to co-generate knowledge that solves complex community challenges. Our deep hope is to end poverty in Canada.”
I thought I’d just give you their explanation word for word, so as not to confuse anyone with how I paraphrase people who are brilliant with my incredibly long-winded ramblings 🙂
In exploring the Tamarack Institute, via their website, I discovered they host and facilitate different learning communities with individual, specific websites holding questions, conversations, providing avenues for publications via blogs and disseminate resources people who are interested. I joined Seeking Community, http://www.seekingcommunity.ca, for several reasons…but let me just do as I’ve done before and give you their mission word for word:
“Imagine: city planners designing neighbourhoods to increase social capital; elderly people staying in their neighbourhoods for another 5 years; mental health rates declining because neighbours are caring for each other and creating a greater sense of connection and belonging together. Seeking Community is a Learning Community for individuals who care about the vibrancy of their communities. Our aim is to encourage and connect individuals who are hosting conversations to recapture the idea of community; to make it a guiding force in organizing our neighbourhoods and institutions and for envisioning policies for well-being.
Seeking Community brings together people with diverse experiences and understandings of community into a dialogue about the importance of having a deepened sense of community. This online community allows you to create a profile, listen to podcasts, post blogs, post links to other websites, and other resources. Our Learning Community includes ten Thought Leaders: people who bring various insights and expertise into this overall dialogue. Over the next 3 years, we will host 1,000 conversations about community. Our online Learning Community will act as a vibrant space to document these conversations; analyze them to see what patterns emerge; and engage the Learning Community in co-generating insights from this data. Once clear understandings begin to emerge, we will bring these to policy makers, celebrities and other people of influence to propose policy changes that acknowledge the importance of community.”
Anyone who knows me even remotely, understands how elated I am to have found these people…and I’m even more thrilled to take advantage of how welcoming this community is of new people and the desire to hear from a broad range of people…all for the common good!! I’m now a member of this learning community, and I encourage all of you to check out the links I posted and see if it’s something you’d be into. I remain thirsty to grow in this idea of connection. I remain open to hearing from any and all people who want to talk about it. I am seeking community…a deepening community. I’m so grateful to Chris for having given the simple gift of a book, yet with intention, knowing who I am and what I’m into…I thank you Chris for being a true friend. And since I’ve decided to share words with you directly from these wonderful people and what they are up to, I’m going to leave with you a poem written by Paul Born, titled “Finding Together”…it is all I want to read these days…over and over and over again! Sending my love and gratitude to you all…
spending time together with…
colleagues and associates
…just about anyone is such joy
To play, to visit, to eat, to sing even to pray …
opens me to the other – we
What am I longing for if not this?
Do I really want more?
Do I have more to give?
If so what?
What are my longings? …
They tell me I cannot have these things, that I am a dreamer ?
They do not say this kindly as if telling me to stop.
You have a good life – open your eyes be happy.
Or look – you already have these things, your family, your wife.
Yes, I say – I see these but I want more and it is not because I am unhappy.
What might it be like to wake up…
That I am part of something bigger
Something intentional, hopeful, safe.
Where my neighbours have committed,
Where I have committed
Where we have committed to each other
Where the world is better
Where our lonely resides
Where our fear rests
Where our tears are harvested
And our dreams nourished
A place where truth is easy
And visions are shared
Where my best greets your best
And where living together is easy because
I is We and We is Us.
They say you speak of heaven
Such places only exist in our longing
There is no place for such places in the now.
But still I long and wonder…
What must I give, how deep must my longing be to live such a life?