HOUSE NEWS: Doing the little things well, for others

Dear friends,

For information about what is happening this week at the GCW, click here.

This past week, we had a young man staying with us who is considering joining us for the Metanoia semester (a semester-long immersion experience into life at the GCW) in the fall. I often wonder, when coming face-to-face with someone who wants to live and work with us, what their reasons are. Part of my introductory speech to new community members stresses just how seemingly mundane and typical our life is. We cook food and we eat. We clean. We garden. We raise our children. We work. All of us do most of these things. It’s not glamorous work. There is no big “Wow!” to it. It is simply the basics of life.

What we’ve come to believe is that there is something eternal and profoundly meaningful in undertaking these “basics” of life–that there is a great “good” to doing them well, with intention and with gratitude, and maybe most importantly, doing them for others. As a parent, I imagine that this resonates with many of us who are parents–we do all of these things regularly because of our sense of responsbility for, and more deeply, our love for our children.

For people considering living with us, I stress that if the value they assign to their work resides in how big or impressive or “Wow” it is, then they’re not going to like what they find here. For us, as it is for many of you, it is the little thing, the basic thing, done well, with love and in joy, which takes up most of our time and energy. My experience has been that for the vast majority of folks who frequent our home, our doing those little things well for them is seen as a gift, moreso than what one would think maybe. A home well-kept, a meal well-prepared, a clean bathroom, a vase of cut flowers. There is a deep-down goodness to these things, these things that any and all of us can do.

GCW NEEDS LIST: We’re looking for a few things that would help us around the house in our various projects. 1) A DVD player: We’re still looking for a working DVD player, in case anyone has an old one they’re no longer using. We frequently show films at the house and our DVD player broke about a month ago now. 2) Bike locks: This past weekend, we got 6 working bikes (see photo below) from Nam, Lili, Carlos, Jacqueline, Kelly and their crew and the folks at The Kickstand to pass along to some of our guests and visitors who could really use them for work, transportation to appointments, etc. We’ve already given 2 away but we need bike locks for the last 4 so the new owners can make sure they’re secured. The group of students, UF grads and others will be refurbishing more bikes in the weeks to come too. So if anyone can make a gift of a bike lock or several bike locks to the house, we can put them to good use. 3) A lawnmower to borrow: We need to cut back the weeds and grass surrounding our garden on 2nd Street and the use of a lawnmover for an hour or two would be a big help. If you have an easily transportable mower (we’ll come and get it) we could borrow, let us know.

Nam works on a bike

Nam works on a bike

See other photos on our Facebook page by clicking here.

UPCOMING VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: This is our next-to-last week before we take our summer sabbatical. We can use help at Wednesday’s cafe (9:30am-6pm), Friday’s Breakfast Brigade (4:15-7am) and in the garden (call or drop by the house) anytime this week.

In peace,

John

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Posted on 06/08/2009, in HOUSE NEWS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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