Quote of the day: "Only nut cases want to be president. This was true even in high school. Only clearly disturbed people ran for class president." Kurt Vonnegut
For me, to read that first thing this morning was a great way to start the day. Laughing.
"Man in relationship to man -- that is the whole of life. Life is movement in relationship. To understand that relationship and to end conflict in that relationship is our entire problem." Krishnamurti
Krishnamurti, being one of Wulf's great influences, was part of his decision to start a commune of artists back in 1969. Besides Krishnamurti, both Wulf and I were deep in trying to understand our own species through the study of other primates and the anthropological studies of ancient and primitive people. And that is how Zendik Farm got started in the high desert of California so long ago. We had concluded that the tribal way of living seemed to make more sense than the loner way we had developed since the advent of agriculture and the rise of city-states and then nations.
We had created, we humans, a way of life that forced us into lonerism, everyone out for themselves and had succeeded in creating a lonely, frustrated and suppressed creature. Our conclusion was that perhaps through common work we could actually form a group of people who could live together, creating art together and surviving -- eating, dressing, paying the electricity, etc, together, sharing expenses and lives together. Our hope was to form a group of humans close together who could create an atmosphere where children would be safe and adults could express their true desires and needs and expand as human beings into doing work that was both meaningful and fulfilling for themselves. In other words, go after the creation of the idealistic 'family of man' concept -- in it together, one for all and all for one kind of thing.
At that time, Wulf and I were surviving through music, performing in underground clubs and cafes in Los Angeles, struggling like all other artists to survive through our artform. Of course, to earn enough to eat and pay rent, I worked as an exotic dancer, which meant late nights, exhausted days, not too much time for art. It was very clear to us from very personal experience that for an artist to survive alone, hold jobs and do art in between was very difficult to say the least. I certainly experienced this as an actress before I met Wulf and he as a writer before meeting me.
Why not a bunch of us get together and survive together, giving us all more time to create art and learn to relax with each other. His folks offered us a ranch they owned in the high desert; if we paid the taxes and kept the place up, we could live there and do whatever we chose. And people came from all over the world; came to this little farming town on the edge of rocky desert hills in Perris, California. They came in hearses, buses, motorcycles, hitchhiking, planes, trains, etc. to join in this experiment we were starting.
We started growing our own food, working concerts at colleges around southern California. We had wildly painted buses and hearses that the band travelled in and as we'd leave in the mornings to go work nooners at colleges, the neighbor kids would line the road and give us the peace sign and were very happy to have us in their community!
Now I must tell you, I hated the idea of a commune. I was in New York City at the time Wulf told me what he wanted to do. I was born and raised in New York City, growing up with 9 million people. The idea, to me, of purposely putting yourself to live with many other people was horrible. I had seen a lot of people up close growing up in a housing project, and most humans, up close, weren't too pretty! But I very much loved Wulf and believed intellectually, that tribal was the way to live. (Ah, youth...........I knew the reality, but was in love and did what my man wanted to, no matter how nutty it might be.) In my defense, perhaps, he was almost 20 years older than I and you could say there was a bit of hero worship going on. I'd never met anyone so brilliant and enormously talented and good looking and able to fix my car at the same time! Similar to many brilliant and talented people he had a hard time socially, but I didn't know that then.
Anyway, I'll go on with this story another time. But let's just say, to bring us all up to date, Zendik Farm as commune did not work! But Zendik Farm Arts does!!!!! It's a community of people who create and teach arts, crafts and technology. Artisans and craftspeople and artists who choose to live together because they want to. Some people vote, some don't, some people marry, some don't, some people work for other people, some don't. It's really up to the individual to do as they choose. We are close in mutual survival and mutual philosophy and the mutual desire to be part of our larger community here in West Virginia, as well as the world.
Through art, education and philosophy we believe a world can be created that is just, true, and beautiful. This was really true all the time, but many people who lived at the commune didn't know it. They wanted charismatic leaders to take care of them and when the male counterpart of the team died, their guru was gone, who'd do all the thinking for them, and be the bad boy for their own hostilities and confusions. With his death, they were left with his wife, myself, who wanted no part of guruship, thank you. Most left, some hung on plotting our demise for some reasons of their own. I've asked them why they stayed if they were so miserable and were done so wrong and I've never gotten an answer. I must conclude, that they endured for the male guru type leader image. He, himself, never wanted to be anyone's guru. He wanted people to think for themselves. Or was it the free food, the free sex, the image of being different and feeling superior, waiting to take over and gather power, didn't want to get a job; who the hell knows, they don't. They were always free to do as they please and certainly to come and go as they pleased.
I must say I remember when CNN came to our place in Texas and tried to do a cult story. They presented Wulf alone with young followers as if he had no wife or child or grandchild, but was some wildman leading young people astray. Their strategy didn't work, because he was so clean and honest and intelligent with them that the reporter who was instructed to set up a story of a cult in Texas (right after the massacre at Waco), even he, got very upset when he learned of Wulf's death. They had a cult investigator on the show who they interviewed and he said Zendik was more a new religion than a cult. So, the stupid media, who keeps all of us in bondage to their negativity, couldn't quite pull off their expose.
By the way, I think we humans have always tried to find a way to reach out to each other. It's mainly been through art and various social events, but now we have this internet that cannot be controlled. Yes... and we can talk to each other and share with each other the real news. Of course, lots of people use it to spread dirt or sell porno crap, but that's okay, the rest of us are really sincere. I must admit, I love shopping online. I hate dressing rooms and shopping malls so it's the perfect solution for me. I can send it back if I don't like it! Yes, some days, you just have to shop...... We'll get back to the Zendik story and the internet another day.... stay tuned.
"....cooperation is the driving force behind evolution. Teamwork between the physical world and the life it bears is responsible for the diverse living earth. Bacteria began to merge with one another in cooperative union. What one couldn't do, another could. Over time, the bacteria entered into mutual alliances or symbiotic partnerships and lost their ability to survive alone."
Lynn Margules, The Gaia Principle