Turning a New Leaf — generosity economy in action and only One Cow left

Eco here. Eventful foray from the other day I would like to share here.

What began in Woodstock and a visit with talented natural artists (community-minded post-Brooklynites) my journey took me through a local healer to meet our wonderful friend Bill Henry, waiting ready for transport assistance, even with all the pressures in his life right now, making it possible for me to visit a special fortnightly gathering that has been happening in Great Barrington with some very bright and smart people, specifically around finding ways to share abundance, provide value and eliminate waste among trusted and ever-growing networks of individuals, especially focusing on the work of Charles Eisenstein and others who evoke the primal into forward-thinking where a sacred economics, where life matters, is engendered, fostered and given further opportunity to flourish.

So in previous meetings of this awesome group of people I have sometimes been just a face and voice coming out of a computer (Skyped in and set in the Circle,  where the digital meets the indigenous) but in this case I was there and able to offer my website, video, graphic, design or healing services to any who had previously discussed it with me, as I was there with a van and could stay over if need be, if only someone had a place for me to stay.

So the meeting ended nicely, got a tip to go check out Orion Magazine and ended up with a stack of many previous issues (now available at our Unlearning Center, daytime hours only). Then I heard back from this fellow Luke, who had cleared it with his family that I could stay the night with them. As it turns out, they are also former Brooklynites who came some years ago up to make a go of growing their own food.

Other events were calling me away for the evening so I did not need the place to stay after all, but wanted to help out with some “yard work” Luke said he’d be doing. That turned out to be salvaging all of what had been stored in a makeshift barn on one side of their impressive house and gardens, with chickens and dogs and other life happily intermingled. Huge amounts of roofing, already cleaned and stacked were in one pile, large barrels were laying and standing around, stinking to high middle-earth with their previous usage in soil cultivation and all sorts of assorted buckets and biodegradable planting pots— all of which fit quite nicely in the van, and constituted our first wave of material donations this season!

What only you know, that particular experience of being you, has magic in it. Sometimes it’s right in front of us, and unexplainable beauty and majesty of this shared world. To be nourished and inspired by what we see all the time, as well as those special moments our clever alignments and arrangements of participants and ingredients make happen from the greater possible.

What many of us who actually showed up at the Arc, or at Rainbow Gathering, or at Occupy Wall Street, or at any other rather unclear and spontaneous yet authentic and organic assemblies know is that the point of it can never be retold, exactly. We glimpse heaven, of living together, of being real with others who believe caring should never go out of style, no matter how many mixed messages we’re fed everyday, all the time— those who show up experienced magic. The ineffable, and inexplicable coincidences, beyond the orchestration of even the 23rd century’s simulations, should we survive the Big Oil+ stranglehold on patents and profits, and hence, given current paradigm, of possibility itself.

Community, whatever form it takes, stands against greed, and entropy, the mis-use of trust and information. “Life feeds on negative entropy” is the observation What we can not do on our own becomes possible, validated and activated through the alchemy of real life shared attention and presence, a deep, primal need often simulated or substituted, but which only real communing can provide. I have learned to be open and attune myself to my surroundings, but many I find are uncomfortable almost anywhere. When I came to support the community efforts that took place at Zuccotti Park as part of Occupy Wall Street, I brought with me a book, by the assassinated Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. entitled “Where do We go from Here: Chaos or Community?”

Well the choice is obvious. Right? Who’s Left? But we live in an inundated insecurity nexus where people are “style” or  image “conscious” and unless you can really pull it off, making it obvious isn’t the thing to do. And yet we are at the cusp of an emergent world society, where world-wide community can be realized as already present, in whatever state of abundance or neglect, abuse or celebration. Anything having to do with SHARING from communism, to hippy to bleeding hearts to And where do we have to do this, really? School? Libraries? Churches? Cemeteries?  On Canvas and in Laboratories. On stages and in pages. On line and inherent.

This experiment we have begun here is one which goes on everywhere the examined life is shared, where resources are shared and allocated for motivations beyond personal gain, in whatever form, where the formula has been changed and with our own success we learn to pay it forward. To get our act together here, so we can be of assistance in the future to other communities, to other lands and resources which are being offered to the creative commons of conscious active participants, is the aim and plight ahead.

By doing what we can do, we make our shared visions more real each and every day, dreaming open awake to what mystery awaits inherent in the net-working-out of this amazing, inhabited universe.

Hope to see you this season for our Workdays on FRIDAYS and for one of several upcoming BIG MEETINGS.


Notes from a Prologue

(by eric carter)

When I arrived at the arc, the late chill of the winter hadn’t lifted. The cold winds still blew through the valley, and we huddled around the kitchen table, well wrapped up, faces close to bowls of warming chili. I would look longingly out into the courtyard, wanting so bad to enjoy a warm spring evening. It makes the coming of the spring so much sweeter, and my departure so much more bittersweet.

I came here to The Arc38 project, having heard rumors of a new community of infinite possibilities being created in this beautiful valley, a summer that came and went like a fever dream, just in reaching distance of Manhattan. Still fighting the hangover of the excitement of Zuccotti Park, all I wanted was a chance to build some community. The year plus of watching people dive behind their newspapers, turn on their earbuds and turn off the rest of the world around them, had ground me down. I had seen too many people crying in silence on a lonely subway train. I had never been in a city so big with so many people desperately alone.

Now, slowly the arc is waking from it slumber. The slurry of potential, curiosity and ingenuity have been touched by that springtime sun. People are slowly making the migration up the mountain, the last thin veil of frost has pulled back. The promised summer of community, experience and most importantly love is at our grasp.

Through that love, the world is at our fingertips. I would be remiss to talk about the arc project without talking about how we are are trying to change the world. The imperative here is interconnectedness. To be here in the valley, you quickly gain the  reverence for the beauty that is our natural world, you can’t but be awed by the evident  nature of us all being one. Even as the cold set into your bones, the crocuses that sprung up were a reminder of the beauty that sat above below and around us. Even as we sit here in this idyllic valley— talk of sustainability and being the stewards of our world is the word on our lips. Here at the Arc we know that we are going to have find out not just how we interface with each other, but also how we interface with our mother earth. If you have an idea, if you have the energy, if you want to rethink, there has never been a more exciting place to be. As Eco says this is the time of the ancient future. We are going back, and forward, but most importantly we are going as one.

As I depart to go back to the places of long straight roads and big televisions, I want  to impart the idea of the potential of this magical place. The Arc38 is striving, imperfectly, to be a new model for a better world. I have been around this country from deserts of Utah to the swamplands of Louisiana. I have been to only a few places that have the possibilities of this farm, this retreat, this laboratory.

Stay tuned this summer: get involved in whatever way you can. Or, take that weekend. Jump on that train: they leave every 2 hours or so, and come and feel the energy, the hope, here down in the valley.


A message from the quickly warming soil

Hundreds of seeds have been ensconced in the greenhouse here at Arc38, physically, mentally and spiritually. The last frost may still come, and the anticipation of a big bonfire on the mountain is building up. Walks up the mountain, in the crisp of the morning, are a joy to behold for those here to catch the early solitude. Cool nights are treated with warm soups, or hearty bean chili. The work up on the mountain and down at the barns has risen to a simmer, as if it’s ready to explode into a rolling boil.


This is summer number TWO and plans are being made at Arc38, from the energy of that first delirious summer, projects are incubating. In these last quiet chilly days of Spring, much work is being done daily. Familiar faces and new ones walking through the door every week, each bringing their own unique ray to the growing The barn is being transformed to accommodate all the positive energies that will soon be overflowing. Even with the quiet anticipation, every small step is pushing the sun higher into the sky. As the seeds hold their own potential we too are full of energy ready to burst into light. We encourage you to plan to join us, or continue to check back. Be a part of our project to change the world, right from our little farm here in the valley.

Finally— a Greenhouse!

Bill’s longstanding dream of having a South-facing greenhouse attached to the barn has been realized!

Thanks to the recent involvement of local folk Lola and North, the plastic was purchased and installed in time for seed starts to get a jump on the season. Bill’s go-to builder, Brian Buckner utilized a method taught to him by Sam, who kept a nice little garden in the center of Pine Plains for a few seasons.

Harvest Healing Festival a SUCCESS!

We held a beautiful event, raised the energy and showed that together we can weather the times ahead– made it through Hurricane Sandy in style!

Come one , come all! Celebrate life, Possibility and each other!  We hope to share this space with new and old alike and create together a space of awareness, recognition and healing.

We have a sacred grove here, where people are invited to bring items from their world and tie it to a tree, place in our forest (specific area) and allow the sacred vibration to grow!  There is already an altar space and we will be having a consecration as part of this weekend’s activities!

More soon, here is the Bookface entry for this event.

Please let us know or post if you can offer a ride and try to carpool! Easy walk from the train as well: Take the Harlem Line from Grand Central (MetroNorth) to the last stop– Wassaic! If we know you’re coming we can meet you (or coordinate to ride with other Arc passengers!)

From the parking lot, you can follow the trail out the back of the parking lot (straight ahead as you get off the train). Shortest route is to head to the back left corner, downn a little gulch and then up on to an old horse race track, follow that North (left) around and there will be a sign for Arc 38 leading further North, then Eastright)– easy to follow at that point. You will pass our little swimming hole under the willow tree and come up on the green barns (visible form the train station). PLEASE watch for the electric fence, there is an easy handle to replace, be careful!

Desired:  bring food, your own tent, sleeping bag, flashlight, costume, rope, stuff to share, hiking shoes, sacred objects, or anything else you wish to have here