Saturday, September 20, 2008

Uppsala Return


It was just right, having a bit of rest after the on-going community experiences. Visiting with some old friends, Petra and Carlos and meeting Nora was a nice relief – to be able to talk with someone I know and who has some familiarity with where I come from and what my frame of mind might be. Had many great talks with Petra about life and the future and the past. It is a kind of on-going aspect of this trip for me, that my personal interest is blending into these ideas of professional development. Makes some aspects a bit blurry, but on the other hand seems quite alright that the things I care about are woven through the things I do at home and the things I do with my expertise.

Had a nice time visiting old haunts, and walking the streets of Uppsala. Such a pretty little city. Went to some old cafes and institutions. Took a visit to the new concert house by Henning Larsen. Got to hear Carlos play with one of his bands. Also had a nice time talking to Petra’s friends, and trying out orienteering for the first time – thanks to Petra for the lesson. And also to the smiley face signs that let people on the easiest course know if they’re going the right way. It was me and several little kids. I almost won. Maybe with a bit more practice I can beat the little kids too!

Uppsala Konserthus

Uppsala Buildings, Cathedral Beyond

Petra and Carlos took me to a couple of interesting communities including Hoga in Uppsala and Jarna, a Steiner based collection of businesses with some associated housing. Steiner seems to be compatible with various communal ideas – although I’m concerned that the ideology may be overly-insular. But still have to read for myself what he had in mind.

Petra in front of cool blue building at Jarna

Purification waterfall for waste processing at Jarna


Some other interesting ideas that came up during discussions with various people in Uppsala and Stockholm. Heard about one housing project where they had a simple common lease structure for a multi unit building, but had created a sort of skills inventory list of the various residents, so that people could have a kind of in-house trade and barter system going. Sweden seems to be full of social ideas for housing – various associations, and the common acceptance of more sharing of resources. However the intentional aspect seems to be rather lacking – or I heard the opinion several times that people were more inclined to keep to themselves and weren’t necessarily inclined to contribute to community needs beyond the specialization standard to today’s life. Still there are plenty of people interested. Made an additional connection to a community on Gotland that I’m going to try to visit if I can coordinate the timing. 

Managed to catch up on posting to my blog and some various other arrangements that had been on hold. Excited to head on to Meridiana – seems like they have an interesting task to form a community in a place so distant from large cities, and cultural centers.

No comments: