A Meditation on the Word: Community

Each week, on In A Real Cool Mood, I would like to join you to meditate on a word with me. If you feel so called, I invite you to write it down on a piece of paper and notice what immediately first comes to mind. As you transcribe the word and observe each letter assuming its rightful place next to the other, pay attention to how the practice of intentional thought helps connect you to the word in question and what it may mean to you in that precise moment. This practice can serve as a casual writing exercise, an opportunity to be present and engaged with a task or simply a blog post that you just so happened to have stumbled across. Either way, thank you for reading and for being here.

Community. As I sit here and begin to get comfortable at my freshly organized desk, the murmur of people crowded outside of my apartment building can be heard. Presumably gathering on the balcony of a neighbor I haven't yet met, I wonder what everyone is talking about. I hear laughter, but not too much. It's not quite loud or clear enough to be coherent; I joke to myself that it must be the most lit book club... Because, of course I do. Anyhow, when I think about community, the first thing that comes to my mind is how fortunate I am to have found several throughout my lifetime.

Community occupies all sorts of spaces: digital, physical, spiritual. Unseen and seen. Community can be found in everything from the people who find solace in silence as they ride the same public transit system each morning to a person's chosen family showing up regardless of circumstance to a group of people being paid to congregate at an office building Monday through Friday.

At its heart, community is intended to be a safe space; a collective understanding of belonging, or at the very least acceptance. Communities aren't always pretty or up to par with a textbook definition. Communities build, fade, tighten, question, embrace and fade. They come together when you need them the most.

By definition, speaking of such, a community is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. Such fellowship is also attributed to sharing similiar attitudes, interests and goals, as the second Webster entry will have it. Community is also poetry in motion. Community can help a person define themselves, while also helping give a sense purpose to one's daily routine. The strength behind community never fails to captivate me and get me thinking. Community is about connection.

And as my hour glass timer begins to near the end of its regulated trickle of sand, the people upstairs are showing no signs of calling it a night. Whatever the reason that brought them together, they certainly have a lot to discuss this fine Monday evening. The mystery surrounding their sense of community has made for a fitting soundtrack for this meditation. And who knows. Maybe next time I'll even step outside and say a hello.

Written by KC Orcutt