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A Shovel in the Ground

There was some frustration among members at the general circle meeting on Sunday (May 14), I think, despite our manifest pleasure at finding ourselves in a new-to-us, spacious and welcoming meeting room. (Thank you, Gary!) What would the world do without church basements? I can just imagine the hundreds of civic volunteer organizations having to hold scrums on street corners, huddled under umbrellas on rainy evenings, and being moved along by skeptical policemen. But there we were on Sunday in our ample basement, with coffee available the kitchen next door. This was civilized.

As for the frustration, well, we kind of lost our focus. It’s so easy to do. There are so many issues that can pull us in a fresh direction. Our agenda called for us to focus on the financial means survey but we never really got past “announcements”—first with a discussion of people and organizations that may be able to lead us through a Get It Built workshop, and then on to developers and other advisers and what they may or may not have to offer. At least, I think that’s what happened.

Which was the trouble, perhaps. It wasn’t quite clear what was happening. The closing round was somewhat clarifying, as it always is. Michele expressed her frustration with a process that so often gets bogged down. Bill cheerfully reassured us that, in his experience, men and women who have been thoroughly trained in how to conduct meetings efficiently veer off track just as often as we do. The tension between the impulse to just get on with it (shovels in the ground!) and the countervailing impulse to hear every voice and explore every option (community building!) remains a constant theme in our halting—but determined—progress.


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