Communitas - A Poem

"Communitas in the way I want to define it is a community infused with a grand sense of purpose; a purpose that lies outside of its current internal reality and constitution. It’s the kind of community that “happens” to people in actual pursuit of a common vision of what could be. It involves movement and it describes the experience of togetherness that only really happens among a group of people actually engaging in a mission outside itself." - Alan Hirsch


A poem by Sean Peters

It is not good
So it was said
But we find ourselves lonely
More often than not
We long to belong
But we’re socially inept
Or relationally awkward
Or perhaps we just don’t know what to do with our
Or how to look in their eyes
Without feeling uncomfortable
But we try because we know that
It is not good
So we join a group or a club or a league
And we try
But our hands and our eyes betray us
And it just doesn’t feel right

But then the storm comes
And the neighborhood disappears
And we work together to search for little Patty’s
And to restore hope
And to rebuild
We don’t have any problems using our hands now.
When we look into each other’s eyes we look deeply
And sincerely
We are comrades
Working together
After twelve hours of backbreaking labor
We sit down together
And have soup
And a beer
And someone prays
And we cry
And we encourage each other
And share what we have
And someone reads a passage from the Bible
About bearing one another’s burdens
And we nod at each other as if to say
“I will bear your burdens my brother”
“I will carry you my sister”

But after several days the discouragement
Begins to settle in
And our tears and sweat stain our t-shirts
And we are tired and sore
But there is always someone there
To offer a word of hope
Or a blanket
Or a sandwich
And always a hand on our shoulder
Or an arm around our neck
Neighbors we had never known before
Are now truly our brothers and sisters

As night begins to fall on the third day
And we all sit silently around the fire
That we have been sitting around together
For the past three nights
We hear a whimper
The hopeful sound of a puppy
And we are back to work
Side by side
The way it was meant to be

And it is good
It is very good

If you're interested in this idea of communitas, check out this excellent video from Alan on the subject


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