Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The First Word: A Scattering of Seeds
According to the Species Alliance website, (speciesalliance.org); "If current trends continue, one half of all species of life on Earth will be extinct in 100 years. (E.O. Wilson, The Future of Life, p. 102)." The planet is losing more species than humans have ever seen before. When an organism's habitat is encroached upon, it has three options for survival. 1) Move, migrate to another suited place; 2) Adapt, change itself somehow either behaviorally or physically; 3) Die.
According to Wikipedia; "The term diaspora (Greek, "a scattering or sowing of seeds") is used (without capitalization) to refer to any people or ethnic population forced or induced to leave their traditional ethnic homelands; being dispersed throughout other parts of the world, and the ensuing developments in their dispersal and culture."
We are all temporarily indigenous somewhere. We are all searching for place. This week a community which i have come to know well, and have been fortunate enough to live has been given one month to diasporate to move, migrate, find another "place" to inhabit. Yes, at some time or another we all have been asked to leave a home which we have created. It is the nature of our current lifestyle. In my twelve years in California, i have moved over fourteen times. And i have had a house which i was renting sold out from under me as well. But this blog is not about that. It is about the extinction of a culture which can only exist in a climate which values community. I wonder if cities such as San Francisco as liberal as they are, can honestly claim that it values community with integrity. The home at 833 Fillmore has been an intentional space for artitsts, and extended community to gather for twenty three years. It was owned by Walter Junam the man who coined that he "Left his heart in San Francisco," and Walter had a wonderfully big heart. In light of the new recent owners request that we vacate, and the situation of the community who has resided in this historic building for two decades, we are now left to wonder if there is any "heart left in San Francisco?"
So these seven residents are forced the way of so many beings on this planet, forced to give up a culture of collectively living, and move on to the next place, home, forest, tree, or nest. Suitable habitat for artists and those who have already been marginalized is becoming more and more rare in a town of seven digit price tags. And yet, we will adapt, as humans are generally good at. What will become extinct is the culture of community living which has existed in this unique home so lovingly called the "Fillmore House" to thousands which have visited, lived, and celebrated for the past twenty-three years. Perhaps we will collectively sprout a ourselves in a similar niche, but in a current day climate of acceleration of culture shock, cutting down this community is akin to removing a mature forest with no concern of the impact it has for all the speicies which depend upon it for shelter, nourishment for survival.