Kawashaway Community Circle Notes
Friday, August 8, 2003 during Gathering at Kawashaway
Future Circle Dates
Klick, Sunfire, Beebalm*, Glen, Stuart*, Teddy Bear*, Marjoram, Xeno*, Miracle, Nightingale, Bruce, Eureka!, Tanya*, Bearberry*, Gleeman, Kiva, H*, Pollen*, Rocky*, Touch, Plucky, Tye, Two Bears*, Braeburn Blue*, Will*
* denotes Stewards
(12/15 Stewards present = QUORUM)
Circle Discussion and Action
We began with a Heart Circle.
We agreed that Sunfire would facilitate occasional five deep breaths, and that Marjoram would facilitate discussion process, and that all would participate in paying attention to process.
Bruce read his proposal for an extended stay on the land of at least three days a week up through Woodcutters Ball to stay here, and another two days a week to work on the land (cutting wood, etc.). (NB: Bruce’s proposal is forthcoming and was intended to be appended to these Notes, hence their short nature here.)
A question was raised about Bruce’s outstanding warrants. He stated he has none. Concern was raised about Bruce drawing law enforcement attention to the land; he stated that he feels the issues around him and the law were specific to the area he is seeking to leave, not to KASA. He also stated he feels as if KASA should deserve positive attention for providing non-discriminatory sanctuary. Bruce was asked why he couldn’t live in Duluth; he stated that he couldn’t afford to do so. He was also asked about a perceived threat to KASA of writing an anti-KASA article to the press if we rejected his proposal—he stated that it wouldn’t be a very bad article.
We took five deep breaths.
Bruce was asked about the issues he has with the community and with people in it—why would he want to live here? He stated he feels that he is misperceived and hasn’t been appreciated for community work he has done.
He was asked again why he wants to stay here. He spoke of his connection to the land and the spirituality of the land, especially through his native relations. He enjoys being here alone and in community. He needs community support right now and would like to give back through making his own land available to faes for their use.
More concerns were expressed about the perceived threats of Bruce writing an article and wishes were expressed that he not bring adverse attention to the sanctuary.
A concern was expressed about Bruce not being a welcoming presence to visitors and about his ability to resolve conflict and communicate in a way that leads to a positive outcome around problems.
Several expressed appreciation for the details in Bruce’s proposal regarding length of stay, etc.
Concern was expressed about what seems to be a victim stance that Bruce takes and an implied threat to KASA if his proposal is rejected.
One soul expressed feeling as if an “in crowd” mentality is not a problem (as Bruce had implied) at KASA and that the safety of sanctuary is based on anonymity and the threat to KASA is frightening. Concern was expressed about a lack of clarity about what can and can’t be written about the sanctuary.
Wishes were shared that we be able to be a place where refuge for fellow faeries could happen and that we be able to open our hearts to Bruce and others.
Concerns about Bruce’s trustworthiness based on recent interactions with him were expressed, along with an invitation to continue to attempt to communicate and rebuild trust.
Concern was expressed about accusations towards faeries made by Bruce in the past; he was invited to discuss those accusations in the Circle and declined. Eureka! said he could not trust Bruce based on this and expressed his willingness to block consensus on approving Bruce's proposal.
Other expressed a different experience of Bruce that includes heart connection and generosity.
Concerns were expressed about Bruce not being aware of and responsible for his impact on the community.
Bruce responded that he feels as if he provides a check-and-balance to the community through his adversarial, activist stance, and that he feels belittled by some in the community. He also feels as if others like him have been driven from the land and discriminated against in the past.
We took five deep breaths.
Bruce spoke of classism and racism he feels from the Stewards.
Concern was expressed about Bruce’s willingness to push the buttons of law enforcement. There was a lack of clarity expressed aboput the logical economic necessity of his staying here.
Eureka! said he was not wishing to stop process with his blocking and was willing to withdraw it.
Questions were raised about process around making a decision. Bruce withdrew his proposal and expressed a willingness to talk after the Circle. He asked that the community not talk ill of him.
Bruce was invited by several voices to stay on the land in the future but not in a way that represents a return to his stay before Gathering, nor in a way that violate the letter or spirit of the two-week rule.
Concern was expressed again about Bruce’s victim stance and his willingness to hurt the community.
We passed the talisman in Heart Circle.
We performed White Ash’s feng shui banishing clapping and took a break.
When we reconvened in the shade, Pollen shared his proposal. He needs sanctuary from civilization, and its alienation, disconnection, and unsustainability. He wants to practice the art of sustainability at KASA. He would build a debris shelter on national forest land close to KASA. He would keep regular communication with the Circle and proposes a larger check-in on his project at next year’s Gathering. His mission would be self-sufficiency in interrelation with the larger community.
He would be self-sufficient through means to include: growing, bartering, wage labor, scavenging, foraging, and hunting. He proposed a caretaker role for himself at KASA, but that residency not be linked to that role or to his role as a Steward.
A question was posed about Ledum (canine). Pollen said that his relationship with her was in flux and suggested there be more conversation later. If she stays in his personal space, there would be no issue; he can, however, foresee the need to propose dog residency.
A question was posed about what his proposal changes from his current situation. Pollen shared that he is ending a time in his life when he went in a direction tangential to his deep desire for sanctuary. His proposal is a return to his original intention.
A question was raised about the need of the Circle’s approval. Pollen feels he wants to put a residential presence on the land even if his shelter isn’t here. Others expressed that we currently use the forest as our own and approve changes to that land, so approving this would be congruent with that.
Is this a violation of the law? someone asked? Pollen believes that a debris shelter is not a permanent structure and feels it is a non-issue. We remembered our shitter is on federal land. We wondered if there might be a liability in “approving” an illegal structure.
Why not on KASA land? was asked. Pollen said he thought it would be easier to transition into a shelter off the land.
One soul expressed the desire to have him on the land as a caretaker. Pollen said we could make him a “caretaker only” if the liability issues are a concern. A proposal to approve a resident caretaker role for Pollen was shared. Pollen said his living needs wouldn’t require him to be on the land but feels the welcoming spirit in the proposal.
Concern and lack of concern was expressed over liability issues.
There was a question about how communication would work. Pollen said we can use the log book, in-person contact, the phone at Oni’s home, weekly access he’ll have to email, messages left at the Trestle Inn, etc.; it’s just a matter of working out the best and easiest way.
Someone asked if he would need to stay in the cabin in winter; Pollen would hope to be able to do so.
Would he publish his experience? Pollen said he learned a few years ago that the demand for intimacy and humanity is larger that he had thought before. He hoped he would share his experiences with everyone who comes to the land.
There was a process question—is there any opposition or lingering concern? Concern was expressed about what would happen if Pollen partnered. Would that person automatically be a resident? Pollen thought that said person would need to have a direct relationship to the community, not through him.
Concerns were expressed about the vagueness of caretaking duties and confusion about caretaking vs. Steward’s role. Perhaps we agree specifically to this proposal as an experiment and develop the details as the experience goes along.
There was a proposal to consent to and create a Land Use or otherly named committee to continue these detailed discussions. Pollen feels comfortable leaving the question of the caretaker role to later Circles. This would be congruent with the need to continue the “sharing of labor” conversation from Hinckley.
One benefit to the community will be easier coming and going and more visits to the land. The caretaker role depends, too, on the person it falls to—we need to be open with our needs and expectations. We don’t want to burden the caretaker unreasonably. We don’t want to come to see him as a cabin boy.
Pollen said he can’t envision not being able to have a conversation when people visit around checking in and discussing roles and expectations. He’d like an atmosphere of “welcome home” vs. “welcome to the Waldorf.” Some shared their ideas about specifics of the caretaker’s role.
There was a process suggestion to move the caretaker conversation to committee and consent to the proposals at hand.
Concern was expressed about hunting—sanctuary is for 4-leggeds as well. Pollen said hunting would take place elsewhere, along with gardening, wage labor, etc. Pollen was invited to eat all the mice he wanted.
There was a question raised about his living in the national forest. Pollen clarified that he would expect to be on KASA land nearly every day.
We passed the talisman in Heart Circle.
CONSENSUS: We consent to Pollen’s proposal.
CONSENSUS: We will reconstitute the Land Use Committee.
Beebalm offered to put out the call to join the LUC.
Forward to Next Circle