Last Friday Compersia, the first commune birthed with the help of the Point A Project, turned one year old. It’s been a year filled with joys and difficulties and a few close calls. Recently, responding to our frustration with the gap between our reality and our vision and the stubbornness with which some big important items seem to stay on our to-do list, Courtney, one of our members, gave us some perspective by noting that the commune is a living thing and only a year old. If it was a human we’d be thrilled at this point if it wasn’t pooping on itself and had mastered the art of eating solid food and crawling around. From that perspective, we’re doing pretty well, thank you very much. We’ve got our foundational policies written, we’ve added some new members, we’ve got money in the bank, and we’re building some deep and resilient relationships. And, much like a baby, the commune demands a lot of attention and care and not always at the most opportune times. But as it grows and develops we can see more and more clearly how awesome it will be when it’s fully grown and how all our hard work parenting it will pay off.
Some highlights from our first year:
- Started the commune! Set up a legal entity, set up a group bank account, started pooling our income, our labor, and our resources.
- Modified one of our member’s houses so it could fit most of us and our vital functions, host events, and host guests. It made a wonderful crib to hold us in our delicate first moments.
- Started a video editing and media coop that currently supports one member and will hopefully grow into a multi-member commune business.
- Another member started a handyman business.
- Took on two new members to add to the four founders.
- Had a couple weekend long retreats to work on plans and policy.
- Hosted dozens of guests.
- Hosted jam nights and game nights.
- Started connecting with cooperative lawyers to lay the groundwork for a project to create an easily replicable model for urban communes.
- Pursued and started negotiating on several potential buildings to buy.
- Stayed sane.
- Stayed fed.
- Stayed solvent.
- Stayed together.
Now, on the eve of our first birthday, and with a recently expanded membership, we’re moving all six adult members and all four kids into a new house and setting our sights on a new set of goals. But we’re doing it with the knowledge that we’re only a year old and if we don’t accomplish all our lofty dreams we won’t be that hard on ourselves. As long as we’re growing and thriving, learning and maturing we will beam with pride at our bouncing baby commune.