I shared this line from Brokeback Mountain with the men who attended my workshop on “Building Intentional Faerie Community in B.C.” at the recent B.C. Radical Faerie Camp gathering at Evans Lake over the Victoria Day long weekend. You may recall that the character Jack says this to Ennis, as a way of inviting his secret lover to join him in building a life together. But Ennis, frightened, draws back – and so it never becomes “like this…always.” But instead, the two share occasional weekends of unrestrained joy and love, before returning to mundane lives in which something essential is missing.
I felt a little like this as I drove to work on the day following the gathering of the tribe at the 2011 B.C. Radical Faerie Camp. I had made an early morning run to the Shoppers Drug Mart, where I bought nail polish remover, and rushed home to scrub until the fabulous blue glitter faded and dripped and washed away down the drain. As my car sluggishly made its way through congested traffic along Highway One heading east into New Westminster, stray bits of glitter left in my cuticles caught the sunlight, stirring a peculiar mixture of grief and joy in my soul. I looked around at my fellow drivers – tired, dejected, resigned to what they felt they must do. Streams of vehicles heading to work. To work for whom? For themselves? For their friends? For their family? For their tribe? …or for the machine?
They are trapped. I am trapped. We are trapped. Or are we?
Rewind to a Breitenbush winter gathering. I am returning from a magical time in Breitenbush, and my friends and I decide to stop at the “Seattle Premium Outlets” mall north of Marysville. I can’t recall what it is my friend wants to look for. Even less than a week of Faerie consciousness has fucked with my brain (in a good way). I am standing in the courtyard in the rain, looking at all these people, pushing by with their bags in one hand – American Eagle, Jockey, The Gap – and a Starbucks in the other. Tired, dejected, resigned to what they felt they must do. I felt sad and repulsed at the same time. And then I started looking for those cool sneakers I want. And I felt worse – because I was already back to participating in the bullshit, like the good, programmed, hetero-normative boy that they want me to be.
Enough. We don’t have to do this. What is holding us back from building an intentional community in British Columbia, where we can live out the principles we claim to espouse: a chosen family of brothers, working for one another, living sustainably, loving extravagantly, providing space to teach and learn from one another? What is holding us back from creating a place where Faeries live, learn, love, and work together – where we invite others to come and be healed – where we provide a model to a world that is sick, a way of being that will replace a dying and death-dealing system? As members of a Faerie tribe, we know all too well the violence, oppression, greed, dehumanization, and ecocide built into the structures that WE participate in on a daily basis. Why do we keep doing that?
Fear? A lack of confidence? A feeling we can’t do it – don’t have the money, don’t have the skills, don’t have the energy, the time, the commitment?
It can be like this always. We can create our own reality. We can transform the magic into practical energy for growth. This blog is for a discussion of what might be possible…of how we might proceed. The first task is finding Faes interested in having a discussion, which we can begin here and expand into face-to-face meetings, Skype conversations, and the like. We would need to talk about commitment, about practicalities (like money, division of labour, and building a sustainable community). And we would need to talk about steps to take to make this dream a reality. Do we want a place in the city? A full-blown sanctuary in the country? Do we want to begin with a loose-knit community in one location like the city, before committing to something more permanent?
Let the conversation begin! I’d love to read your thoughts and suggestions for moving forward. In time, this blog will become a link to a larger B.C. Radical Faeries website that is being developed and we will be able to create better tools for organizing. I am by no means a computer whiz, so any help in creating effective communication is welcome.
James Broughton said that our particular gift was to bring to birth “spirit children” who could save the world. The time is now. The means is by building intentional communities throughout the world – centres of life, love, healing, and magic.
If you’d like to post here, the username is bcradfae, and the password is BCRF2011.