- Listed: August 25, 2011 10:39 am
As far as words go, the word “community” is a word I dislike. It is overused. It’s common.
Our Community . . . .
In our community, we use it to describe everything, but only because we can’t quite communicate the concept. It doesn’t quite translate to “family” since that typically denotes people with the same nose and hair color that you can, but don’t mean to, ignore and it’s still okay. “Community” doesn’t mean “village” either, because that is a bunch of nutcases dressed up as cops and Indians, or perhaps they’re isolated Ukrainians named Shapka and Fyodor. And “community” isn’t “friends” either, because that doesn’t complete the picture of all the people taking part in something larger than the individual, even though your community may contain friends, but you may not comply with the Facebook etiquette with all those people.
What community seems to be is a complicated combination of people and pets, possessing a commonality. A co-mutuality. A complicity. A co-mingling. A veritable composting of ideas and intentions. Compatriots. Comrades.
I must commend my community for coming together for a common goal, even if it is commerce. They exhibited a commitment to their common ground – the local coffee shop. I have only seen this type of commitment to a church or a political organization.
The First Workday
For the first workday, 24 people showed up and caulked, spackled, measured, sawed, built, rebuilt, cleaned, oiled, scrubbed, moved, painted, you name it. If I hadn’t been directing traffic and buying beer and pizza, I would have cried about the generosity. Three weeks later, people are still working everyday, at various skill levels, and for different hours of the day, but there is always someone there.
The New Coffee Shop
Everyone is making the new coffee shop better than the old one. I thought the new shop would be a slightly cleaner version of the old shop, but the people are in there staining mahogany, cleaning up the original antique fixtures, or arguing over the best ways to preserve the character of the building. Where’s the particle board shelving? Where are the holes in the walls for the termites to push out their accomplishments? Where are the coffee stains on the floor? Where is the shoddy workmanship and leaky faucet? Where are the dying houseplants and crooked photographs?
I am, along with my community, completely beside myself. (squeeze that into some imagery.) Small Town Coffee people are defining community for me.
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