Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our House of Dreams

So...this is somewhat a follow up to my last blog.  I received a lot of good feedback, however, I did have one honest friend who said, 'Maria, I was waiting for you to say what you intend to do about all the talking.'  I thought to myself, 'But I don't have all the answers.  I just have the answer for me and 'me' is not enough.'  I thought some more about this and while I don't have the answers that will solve all the problems I addressed in my last blog, I have decided to share with all of you what we (Matt and I and some of our friends) intend to do about it.

Probably, about four years back my friend Janelle and I started reading Shane Claiborne.  If you don't know who he is just google him and if you go back far enough in my blog you will get to 'A Politic of Peculiarity' which was inspired by Shane's book Jesus for President.  Anyway, he lives in community in a large house in inner city Philadelphia.  He is a social activist, author and preacher and while he is extremely radical in so many ways the thing that really made us stop and listen was this whole communal living thing.  Janelle is married to her husband Luke and they are both really good friends of ours.  We have traveled internationally together a few times, as well as domestically, and I have personally known them for over a decade, my husband has probably known them about half that.  We have all talked about living communally in the city together for quite sometime (maybe 3-4 years) and we always just called it a Sunday Afternoon Conversation (a term we coined for conversations which were made up of unrealistic dreams).  This past fall we asked each other, all four of us, why can't we do this???  We want to do it, so let's just do it.  Since the fall we have had countless conversations of all that would need to happen in order for this thing to work.  We hardly told anyone because we knew at any moment it could all fall apart and we wanted to make sure it was a sure thing before we started getting all the crazy looks. ;)  To make a long story short, all of our our actions steps and planning paid off and we are moving in together June 15th.  Luke and Janelle rented their house out in Shoreview and we have said goodbye to our fabulous, little Uptown apartment.

One of the reasons we used to talk about this so much as a circumstance only found in our dreamy conversations is because it excited us!  We were excited about the possibility of living life together.  We were desperate to know what it truly means to allow others into your life on an irrevocable basis.  We want to know what it's like not to just think or worry about ourselves.  We want to feel the strength of rejecting what society says we must have; a house in the burbs, 2.5 kids and lots of stuff.  We KNOW that there has to be something more and we want to know what it is.  We think looking into the eyes of one another on a daily basis and breaking bread together around a table we share in the house we all live in, might be a good place to start.  Luke and Janelle and Matt and I don't want to just live for ourselves anymore.  We have all heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child."  Well I say, "It takes a village to do anything great."  I think the four of us do community alright at the moment.  However, we think we can do it a whole lot better.  So here we go.  Our attempt at moving the talking to doing.  Our house of dreams (which happens to be a 1,600 square foot apartment behind the Walker Art Museum ;).  Two couples leaving their loves nests, so cozy and comfy, so safe and lovely, for the hope of something better.  The hope of transformation and dying so that we all can live.  Live the way we were created to live; not for ourselves.

*Picture of Matt and Luke signing our shared lease.


Garbers said...

So question. Living together is great. How do the details work themselves out. Is everything separated out? Do you share vehicles, food, possessions, etc...? Just curious as to how much of "your" stuff do you give up in this new endeavor and how much you still keep as "yours?"
Thanks for the update on the talking --> doing.

Maria said...

Those are good questions, actually. We will be sharing everything. We will have a grocery fund that we will all pull from for food. We will be sharing our furniture. We will be sharing every bill. We will be having separate bedrooms and bathrooms, but every other place is shared space. Oh yes, and we will be sharing vehicles and carpooling to work and school. We haven't figured out all the kinks just yet. Some of it we will have to deal with when it comes up, but for now these are the things we have decided on.

Lauri said...

This is so awesome! I am so excited to hear about how it's going! We've talked about it with with one of our couple friends also, so we could all feasibly own a house together. Havent done it but you never know :)