I’m a big fan of community and have active sought to be part of one at almost all points in my life. Post-school, I was part of a couple of communes, a spiritual groups – including a buddhist gompa, a couple of covens, a christian church, etc. – and thinking back, it was the community aspect, not the ‘dressing’ that was important to me.
Where ever I am, the sense of community is important. Even a good work vibe can be enough to satisfy this need. It doesn’t take much to transform a dour office into a community.
University confounded me. There wasn’t so much a lack of community as the feeling that I wasn’t allowed to be part of it. Age, you see. Being the only 40+ year old in a group full of 18 year olds is tough. Being the only gay person in the group further alienated me. I mean, jesus. A Fine Art degree and only one gay person? What is the world coming to?
But anyway, the point is, I feel really lost without a community. I have Andy, and he’s fab, but other than that, I have to fight to see anyone. The longest conversation I’ve had since moving back from Leeds has been with a barista in Starbucks. He was on his 10 minute break. Lovely bloke, but isn’t that just a bit sad? it gets worse. The second longest conversation I’ve had is with people from a yahoo group, even that’s down to six people and most of those I’ve never met. Wouldn’t want to be without them, mind you.
But having been back in Southampton for about 5 months now and for all intents and purposes been stuck on my own, I’m reaching breaking point. I need people. I need community.
I may have to try and start something up.