Saturday, February 04, 2012

The many mothers and fathers

This is also one I've carried in my head for a long time...

We were seekers, strangers seeking other strangers, artists and muses and bards and witches carrying manuscripts and typewriters and instruments in our suitcase. What we found, as individuals and a group inside and outside that little house in Hampton Court, London exceeded our expectations and reached far beyond our hopes and dreams. During those five years we grew beyond anything we had consciously envisioned and our growth keeps pleasing us, to this very night and will for the rest of eternity.

It started on Midsummer Night 1988 where we participated in a massive ceremony of sex and magick in the middle of Hyde Park. Those of us staying together after that formed the fairly small collective in Hampton Park. After just a few nights of decision-making and a few weeks more of dealing with practical matters, fourteen people moved in with the couple owning the house. The building wasn’t in very good shape, but there was plenty of room and heart and passion and determination.

After that night in Hyde Park there was no pretense of monogamy and pietism anymore. There were those who felt ashamed and attempted to distance themselves from that event, but not among us. To the chagrin of our neighbors and the authorities we started living out all our hopes and dreams and desires. We managed to get hold of three king size beds, but we usually just used one at the time. We disregarded society’s narrow sense of morality and started living life to the fullest.

And then, after weeks of living bliss, so to speak we started reaching out, starting up our theater group and other creative activities, playing in the streets of Covent Garden and elsewhere in and around London. Among other things we played our modern, very modern and personal Shakespeare version, a mix of several of his plays, really, rising the mire of even more traditionalists.

Creativity soared. I wrote both «Dreams Belong to the Night» and «ShadowWalk» during that time period.

Kids were eventually born into the collective, quite a few of them. We knew who the biological mothers were, of course, but it was completely impossible to tell who the father of each child was, and it didn’t matter to us anyway.

The way we saw it was that every male and every female under that roof was mother and father to all the children, and it worked great. There were squabbles, like in any household, but we got along far better than most couples we knew or knew of. One of our happy slogans, «monogamy sucks» proved to be very true. The kids called everyone mother and father and it didn't seem weird at all. It felt, on the contrary very natural and right. Our children were bullied by others in the area, but, coming from a safer and far more harmonic home ours were far stronger and more confident than the bullies and handled them easily.

When we started our touring across Europe, we all traveled together, and the enjoyment, the delight persisted.

The collective broke up eventually, for various reasons, mostly because of the usual undue pressure from an uncaring society, but some of us stayed in touch. We decided to do genetic testing in 2006, and we found out the particulars, but it still didn’t change anything. We were still mothers and fathers to all the children and still are.

It still feels good and so very, very right.

This, a tribal society of equals and shared joy and responsibilities is the far more natural and better life of human beings. We all felt and feel that strongly. Monogamy, as the imposed standard it is, is fundamentally flawed, obviously so.

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