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.