This blog post about community has sat open on my computer, unpublished for a week.  I felt like it was missing something.  I found it today – while sitting at my desk, putting together 6 paper hexagons. I know it’s weird, but I’ll show you.

I’ll share the story in three pieces.  I love triptychs and believe that good things come in three.

 



Part 1

Date Night with Eric

When you have three small children and a date night every month or so, by Friday night you have enough energy to wander a warm mall and drink hot chocolate.

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to read more about The Brain Project…

to see all of the art pieces (they are incredible)…


Part 2
Date Night Triggers a Memory

I’ve been wondering a lot about community lately.

This summer my Uncle Bill told me that the Odd Fellows group, that he was a part of for years, no longer exists.  It was a community group for men in the district.  They did fundraisers and donated to local causes.  But without new members and few available to help out, the group folded.

Royal Canadian Legion clubs.  Masons groups.  Ladies Auxiliary.  It feels like these old school community groups are becoming less and less; groups that once brought people together for meals, dances, and events are no longer or few.

Are they being replaced by more modern versions of community? And do those modern versions offer the same depth of relationships amongst members and a feeling of belonging?  I don’t think so.

The art plaque from Friday night made me realize what we are losing when we don’t have community.  A feeling of connection. Happiness.  Health.  Belonging… 

 


Loved reading these:

Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Who are Masons?

It’s neat to see how a group defines itself and what they value.


Part 3
Paper Hexagons

After we saw the beehive art piece (from The Brain Project), I kept picturing paper hexagons in my head.  I know, I sound weird.

So today, once I got the kids down to nap, I sat at my desk and started to cut paper hexagons.

Since it would be a piece about community, I wanted to use paper that would represent that theme and have personal meaning to me.

 

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The first piece I cut was from a red paint strip.  My version of  Falu Red.  It represents my dad’s side of the family, the Finnish side that I have been trying to learn more about.

I cut a hex out of a Firefly Creative Writing newsletter.  It’s a writing studio – a cozy place that oozes community.   It’s also where I took my first writing course.  To sit around a handcrafted wood table on a Saturday morning, drinking tea, and sharing personal life stories… it was such a gift.  It was a community that helped me see myself as a writer.

I cut a hex out of a booklet we were given at the Imperfect Boss Camp.  I still can’t wrap my head around the community that was created at that event in the woods.  I spent four days with a group of complete strangers who have shifted the way I see myself and others.  I’m so thankful and still unable to articulate the impact it had on me.  I’ll get there eventually.

I also had a cool piece of brown kraft paper with texture that I cut into a hex.  It has no meaning but I love it.  The dark blue piece?  Maybe it could represent our university school colours?  One of the first places where I finally felt like I belonged…

I plan on collecting and cutting more pieces over time.  I want to include papers from back home to the collection.  I love it already and I’m only 6 pieces in.

But the whole point of this…

I answered my own question about community.

Community still exists.  It exists in little pockets and at different moments in time.  What was once a peaceful Saturday morning around a writing table (last year), has become three women I have kept in touch with and who continue to support me – through their encouraging words, emails to pass along a great book or exhibit I might like, and even an offer to meet with one of our family friends to support her in her career.  Community lingers.

A little project to sell upcycled mittens has made me realize the incredible community that surrounds me even though we haven’t seen each other in years.  I have friends from elementary school buying my mittens.  Friends from university are re-posting my project on their social accounts in hopes of promoting it for me.  An Instagram friend, that I have never met face-to-face, offered her workspace for my upcoming Make your Own Mittens workshop and when my sewing machine died last week, my friend lent me hers.  It was her mom’s machine and has so much meaning to her.

Community is very much alive.  It just looks different.

 

I am very lucky.  I think in the simple act of cutting out little pieces of paper, I realized the amazing community I am surrounded by and the impact they continue to make in my life.

If you are reading this and are a part of that, thank you so much.

 

And I do think it would still be cool if we could have big meals together and go to a dance 🙂

 


This blog post about community has sat open on my computer, unpublished for a week.  Something felt like it was missing.  I found it today – while sitting at my desk, putting together 6 paper hexagons.