I'm looking to hitch-hike soon to the Rainbow Gathering in Montana.
I placed a post for the moneyless tribe (to be launched at the Gathering) in the Fellowship for Intentional Communities website, for those who want to join the tribe or want to network with us. I hope to post more details about it just before I hit the road.
Meanwhile, I'm publishing my friend Kay's guest post here, at her request. Kay is married to Gordon, my friend who made the short film, "Moneyless in Moab" back in 2006. Kay is also the person who set me up to do a presentation at the Unitarian Church in Manchester last Friday, May 31st (I feel very good how the presentation went. I also realized afterward that May 31st is the anniversary of when I drove the car off the cliff in 1991. Kind of eerie, but showing wonderful redemption).
Thanks, Kay, amiga mia:
Kay's Guest Post
This is a guest post blog-a separate entry that Daniel is allowing rather than a comment that will get lost. I am currently Daniel’s host, and I am also his friend.
Seeing the comments that are made on his blog—the insightful, the supportive, the critical and the repetitive (seriously folks, read his FAQ before making the same tired jabs and comments over and over)—I wanted to offer my perspective, and give some answers to the person that is Daniel * in his relations with others.*
He is a solitary guy in that his path is his own, and his ambitions and lifestyle are for very few. I live in a house, have a job, a partner, a baby, bills—the same things all of you do. But what I believe ends up ‘missing’ from the virtual Daniel is that he is a very real, very warm human being. He uses his blog to make a point, but those who know him as a person know that this is only one side of him. Just like all of you who make comments (that are sometimes so hurtful and angry!) that show only one facet of who you are, this blog is only one side of him. When we are with him, we never discuss his writings. His philosophies are wound around dialogue that is engaging and thoughtful. He is delightfully sarcastic, witty, and humorous.
My partner has known Daniel for over twenty years, before he gave up money. Did they remain friends after that? What kind of friend abandons another when they are faced with a human who has made great changes that make them feel better (and note, you trolls- HURT NO ONE?) Most of us have long-term friendships with people who become religious, give up drinking, change sexual orientation, get divorced, or other life changes that make us make mental adjustments of the person we knew, and know now. For these two friends, it was met with barely a shrug of the shoulder, and they moved on from that point, with the main change being that it was now harder to keep in contact.
I met Daniel seven years ago, as we flew out to Moab to see him. I was self-admittedly both curious and apprehensive. One very real question I had, which seems absurd now was, would he want to hug? Would he smell? How would I do it without touching his grungy clothes, or hands? That was my lesson... that to be without money does not mean to be without pride, or hygiene, or morals, or standards. And I took to him very quickly. As many do. Whether these people are his friends as a result of their support in his cause, or in complete oblivion to it, Daniel has a lot of friends. People like him. Enough to host him at their houses. Enough to trust them with their houses and pets as a sitter. Enough to give him rides. For some of you, I wonder—if you took a cross country trip, would you have enough friends who would help you out? Would your presence be welcome in their homes for more than a day? How about a week? Would you offer to cook meals, or stack two cords of wood, or forage and find food to help your hosts? Do you have the grace to know when to give a family their space, or when it is time to move on?
And this is the point I want to make. It is easy to judge someone from the other side of a computer screen. It is just as easy to type comments and hit send without understanding the social side of Daniel that is free from judgment, dogma, or worry. Yes, he’s taking up space in on our couch. Yes, he’s consuming our food, and using our internet connection to post his philosophies that you are taking the time (from your oh-so-busy lives) to read. But you know what? We’re alright with that. The trade off we get in the camaraderie, travel stories, intelligent discussion and laughs is well worth whatever money we are ‘spending’ on him, and we give it freely.