Stopping by a small bookshop recently I came upon different books with interesting titles like Eurotopia: An Index of European Communities, Diggers and Dreamers or Communities Directory. Each of them held thousands of addresses of community projects. My heart skipped a beat: with all these addresses is must be possible for me to find a place to start the life of my dreams?
The salesman behind the counter looked at me through his nickel-rimmed glasses, his eyes half sympathetic, half amused, and said: “Good books for people looking for community! Yes, I searched for community once myself… and when I found one at last, I lost it again. But I recently rediscovered something I’d lost.”
After this somewhat nebulous introduction, he began to relate his odyssey across the globe from one community to the next. He was nothing if notcritical: no one could satisfy him on his quest for the perfect community…
My bookseller was just getting into high gear when suddenly a wistful, almost mystical smile appeared on his lips: “But after so many years of searching I finally found it: my community! They were just a handful of people, but somehow they had managed to integrate all aspects of life in perfect proportion.”
“Right, so why didn’t you stay there?” I asked him.
“They didn’t want me,” he replied. “I wanted the perfect community,and they wanted the perfect human being!”
A short time later, after many more questions, I stepped onto the street, the book under my arm. I felt strange. A blend of pain and joy, spiced with a pinch of fear, had settled onto my heart – which in turn was beating like a drum. Is this what the poets call ‘yearning’?
“Only sunny eyes can see the sun,” my bookseller called after me, laughing.
And what about the butterflies in my stomach? I wondered.
So, I stepped into the adventure called life … looking for myself andlooking for community.
– Dieter Halbach