Re: The whole picture (was disengagement)
From: Jessie Kome (
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 17:31:00 -0800 (PST)

In the "whole picture" spirit, I'd like to re-introduce the idea of dormant members. Folks who dial down their involvement from time to time but are otherwise committed cohousers. I'm a case in point. Our son has been struggling for a couple of years with a rare brain fluid issue that gives him severe headaches, frequently in migraine territory, every day. And lots of other family stuff is going on. Through this time, each member of our household has dealt differently. My son (who is usually sound and light sensitive) and I have withdrawn and spend a lot of time within the nuclear family and less time in the community. My husband, who had previously put less effort into the community, has dialed up his involvement in both the community and care of our son. Our daughter has gone off to university, but when she comes home on weekends, she hangs out at home with our son.

The cool thing is that the community seems to be honoring all these choices. It is hard to explain, but very heartening to experience. Folks occasionally check in with us to see if there is anything they can do to help, or just to chat. We all feel the gentle support.

I'm sure this happens in greater and lesser degree to lots of communities and residents and just wanted to acknowledge that even a very committed cohouser may need to go dormant from time to time. It isn't disengagement if the commitment and connections remain.

Jessie Handforth Kome
Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
"Where the garden gnomes in the courtyard (two traditional ceramic, one Carolina blue resin, one small one being carried off by metal- sculpture aliens) have been joined by a harvest pumpkin."

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