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The other 1%

How do millions of people live together in a city anyway?  Many people would probably say “not very well”.   Coming to a different answer is pretty difficult when I read and listen to the daily  news. The Daily News reports every day that the world is literally falling part and people everywhere are fighting and shooting each other.  But my life experience in NYC is quite different.  There is actually a lot of cooperation, collaboration, and helpfulness going on,  such as the lady on the subway who grabbed our map away from us and said “Where are you going?  Here I’ll … Continue reading


After all these months I finally feel like we are settling in a bit on Staten Island.  When people ask me how I like New York I still say that I am “getting used to it”  however I must say that I am getting more into the swing of city life.  Yesterday Laurie and I went to a movie in Manhattan with some Ganas friends and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then of course there  is always the circus, for entertainment and trips outside reality.  I’m talking about the presidential races and debates. I watched the presidential debates because, as one … Continue reading


It is now Saturday night July 4 and explosions are all around me.  I have to admit I have never quite understood the desire for so many people to hear big bangs on their sidewalks.  We have had our own big bangs.  We are staying at Ganas on Staten Island, which is an intentional community that was started over 35 years ago.   We have had many discussions already with members of the community about our philosophy of  Villaging and will have many more I’m sure.  We had known that there was at least one person here who was interested … Continue reading

On The Go Again

Everything is a mess and out of order.  I both love it and hate it.  Messing up the order of my life means that a new order needs to be established.  When everything is a mess new order is unavoidable. We are packing and hauling, and getting ready to travel to NY for the the months of July and August where we will be  staying on Staten Island with the Ganas community. I told my sons  on father’s day  that I really have never lived “in the city”.  I feel we have started a good thing here in Salem and we … Continue reading

Midwives of the Future

I’ve been finishing Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything.  I was reminded that I hadn’t finished the book when I heard the name several times on television referring to any number of popular causes, events, or facts.  Even a car ad used the phrase.  It seems that Klein hit on a title that everyone feels entitled to use in regard their own pet thing.  Anyway I am finishing it.  Reading books like hers awakens my mind to new thoughts.  Sometimes not even related to what I am reading. In this case I began thinking about what it means to grow … Continue reading

Fed Up

I saw the movie “Fed Up” a few nights ago and came home  rejuvenated about the Villaging project and our Villaging America movie.  There is of course a tremendous amount of information about how the food industry has contributed to the problem of obesity in the USA.  The main point of the movie is that sugar is the culprit that is the prime contributer to our weight problem as a nation.  There are several tragic examples of obese childen who get caught up in the food castrophe of this country.  The movie describes how when in the  1970’s fat was … Continue reading

Do You Have Enough?

Not long ago we  traveled to the southeast  where we filmed at a small worker owned collective called Opportunity Threads in Morganton, NC.  The collective has six worker owners with 21 additional sewers and workers who are in the process of becoming worker owners.  After working for a number of months and having many peer evalutions which include not only their productivity but also their ability to get along with their other team members, they are given the opportunity to buy into the collective. In this way new owners get “vetted” by the other owners. All workers including Ms. Hemstreet who initiated … Continue reading

What is Villaging

That’s ‘villaging‘,  not ‘pillaging’- in contrast to what my spell check keeps trying to tell me!  I think that’s because villaging is a word we made up.  We are using the word villaging to distinguish what many people have been doing for a long time, i.e. living a conscious life that includes taking care of each other and also the planet.  Through our research we have identified six elements that make a Village.  We consider that moving forward in any of them as villaging.  Some people are villaging more than others.  These six elements are not random; they each perform … Continue reading

Preservationist Villages

There is an extensive history of groups of people who have set themselves apart from the rest of the culture to try to become independent and develop sustainable communities .  Many groups have tried to go “off the grid”.  This has been happening for decades.  So when Laurie and I decided to put forth a project called “The Villaging Project’, part of me questioned if it had any value.   Making a movie about intentional communities seemed a bit mundane and archaic. We decided very quickly that the project was not just about intentional communities and eco-villages.  Villaging is not … Continue reading

A breakthrough

It was a breakthrough when we discovered that when something is possible all we need to do is do it (no comparison to Nike intended).   For us “doing it” meant taking away the barriers to moving forward, i.e. our stuff in life. When we reduced “the stuff” Life began showing up differently. We began perceiving life differently particularly in the areas of common good and in the arena of jobs and  wealth. Not long ago I realized why I get so upset when I hear Obama and others say that ” if we work hard we should be able … Continue reading