The Sound of Silence

Silence2

We’ve been silent since the end of 2015; the silence was intentional – one of renewal, rejuvenation and looking forward.  We’ve made significant changes and those changes required time to absorb and adjust. As many of you know I’ve moved out of the shared housing arrangement that had defined me for so many years and into my own home. Many thought this change was a move backward and in contradiction to my quest to promote aging in community. Have you ever heard the saying, “Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward?”

In this case, that’s exactly what I did. An opportunity presented itself; one that allowed me to create my own shared home environment (previously, I was renting the house I shared and now, I own it). What’s more, an opportunity then immediately presented itself to expand my home boundaries and purchase additional acreage.  The dream of creating a community centered on the principles of Aging in Community (description here) is now underway to becoming a reality. There will be more news and information on this but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you what’s been happening during the silence:

In January 2015, the Detroit Public TV aired a documentary, “When I’m 65: Rethinking Retirement in America” for which I had been interviewed a year ago. The documentary features people from across the country in the midst of retirement and showcases the challenges, fears and opportunities we all face.  As a result of these interviews, they also published 3 videos, one features our shared housing arrangement and the other features Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville (OLLIE).

You can click here to see the videos (ours is at the bottom).

To see the full documentary, click here (we are featured 46 minutes in) but the entire video is worth watching. Watching this now (it just aired) was a demonstration of how much and how quickly things can change.

In March 2016, I was featured in WNC Woman’s magazine issue. I discussed how “Improvisational Living begins with Community.” It was a great reminder of the mission and vision I have held all these years for Women for Living in Community especially as we move from dreaming to doing in the next chapter.  We discussed the top 5 things that create controversy in community which was a great reminder as I begin to work out the plans for a real community in Asheville, NC.  We also discussed the missing element of today’s communities that are focused on seniors or retirees and those are the interpersonal aspects of living together, whether you share a house or a community.

Looking forward, I am excited about my upcoming trip to Oregon. Oregon, you ask? Yes, to attend the “New Tribe Training” being held May 19 – 22 in Ashland. If you’re not aware, there is a group of people who have created a supportive network of people, who intentionally have come together as a “tribe.”  As they put it,

“Our “new tribe” model is different from the usual “intentional community” as we live in our own homes and not on shared land. “Bicycle distance” is our metaphor for living close enough to meet face-to-face with weekly consistency.”

Why am I attending? I have always been looking for connections with others in my community related work and the groups I have been a part of. This idea of Tribe and how to form it and be a part of it called to me from an article in Communities Magazine. The article describes their history, their process, what worked and what did not in forming their tribe.  Click here to read the article.

What do I hope to gain?  My hope is to find others who really know me and I know them, spend time together, and choose to be in each others life on purpose, forever. That is what I want. I read Bill and Zoe’s book, titled appropriately, “We Need Each Other: Building Gift Community and knew this Tribe Training was my next step. So I am going to the experts.

So, you can see, the “Silence was not about the absence of something, but the presence of everything.” During this silence we’ve been busy and we can’t wait to fill you in on all the details in the coming months.

Helpful hint: If you’re getting this post by email and have a comment to share, please click here and reply at the bottom of the blog post so that way, your comments can be shared with everyone!

Marianne Kilkenny

Comments

  1. Sharon Sbrocco says:

    Thank you for the update. I especially liked the Tribe article. I have been making connections by selling the second house on our property to our daughter and son-in-law, by hosting a community garden in our pasture, and by teaching a free Tai Chi class at our church, which is in “bicycling distance”. Now I actually know enough people I could begin to include in a “tribe”. The main difference is my tribe will be intergenerational.

  2. Helen Newman says:

    Dear Marianne,
    I was so happy to get your recent e-mail. What you are doing is really interesting and important. As a retiree of 4 years, I am struggling with how to create community and be connected to creative women with common goals. So your newsletter, by
    reminding me there are people out there also looking for solutions, gives me
    inspiration. Thanks for staying connected with us all.
    Sincerely,
    Helen

  3. Frances says:

    So good to hear from you again. So looking forward to more. Thank you.

  4. Wonderful to hear about your progress! Love the idea of expanding intentional communities! There is a movement happening and, as usual, we the boomers are doing it!

  5. Wanda Marie says:

    This is fabulous!

  6. jane pope says:

    Thanks for contacting me – I have been wondering where you were. I am not ready to make a move just yet, but have you listed in my “next phase of life” book. Good luck! Wish I had the money to go to the event in Oregon. Someday we will meet up. Jane

  7. Elizabeth Semple says:

    You write well, Marianne. Thank you for this moving update and congratulations on purchase of your home!

Women For Living in Community