Monday, September 12, 2016

Ode to Atangard

In heavenly hefts
you carry forth; intoxicating
like a star, who guides strangers into the sky
to become part of a constellation.

When I return, broken hearted,
or covered in the dust of solitude
my heart races, as if
anything less than a million hugs
would greet and feed me soup.

In drawing near to every detail
my eyes are met with life,
like blades of grass in the desert
hinting at a nearby spring—
where windows carved in wall are made
or gardens grown by liquor stores
and splinters in the hardwood floor
—contain the tiny stories
of a wild project aging like fine wine.

My nose recalls a poem
walking down the hallway,
fresh rosemary and cheese
adding adjectives to aroma,
as I am taken by a nostalgia unfit
for such small hands.

Your modalities (wise and true)
and je ne sais quoi,
shake out individuals,
and form them into the next generation,
who will one day leave,
and one day return,
to find a piece of their
hearts stitched in a community
that dazzles and guides so many home.


- Dalton Jones

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Slow & Steady

Summer has come, which often brings many changes as people transition from school to work or head out tree planting. This summer, however, the change is fairly subdued. Only 2 housemates went planting, and only one new friend is subletting.

Last summer brought a slew of new residents. There is always air of excitement in those new times of discovery. At times the energy and changes can be a bit overwhelming, as your home, the most intimate of places, changes shape. After some months the dust settles and routines emerge.

This summer, though, has been lazy. Relaxing. Many of our housemates have been here for at least a year now. There is a comfort that comes in the consistency, and a subtle security from the depth of having lived together for a substantial amount of time now. 

I told one resident upon moving in, "It takes time to get to know people, and a year for things to really get good." He didn't believe me at first. He told me later how he keeps being surprised by people as relationships mature and grow. I'm sure it is also in part, that life changes us too. As housemates we get to journey with people through these exploratory times.

Of course it is not all flowers and roses. Many times we may not feel that connected to one another. But when I take a step back from it all - I realize the beauty of it. I feel privileged to be a part.
Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

5 Year Anniversary

September 1st of 2014 marked our Five Year Anniversary. Many thanks to all who have made this place possible. This blog was started during the development process. It was a forum to share our journey, our thoughts, and our progress on this 'project.' What was once a goal, a dream, and a challenge has now transitioned into everyday life - full of the mundane and the beautiful.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Atangard Art Exhibit

We had our first art exhibit this weekend at the Arty Awards. We created a series of abbotsford-centric portraits, and then also displayed some work that we already had up in our halls. It was great to have some motivation to create again. It was also really awesome to see the work that people produced. Looking forward to what the next one will be. Here's some photos, and the Abby News article.







Friday, March 7, 2014

The History of Atangard

In one of our directors meetings, it was brought up that a lot of people now residing were not involved in the development process and do not know the story of our home. I put this presentation together for our housemeeting. Thought you might enjoy. -Soph

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Changes

Your twenties can be a tumultuous segment of your life. From school, to relationships, to work, goals, plans and desires, trying to find things to hold on to can be difficult. I think for a lot of us here at Atangard, the idea of living in community comes with the hope that we will have something to hold on to: friends, a place, a home. It is what attracts many here, and also what keeps people here much longer than they anticipated. No matter how often a housemate is away, unable to participate in the group, or unavailable, the things that always keep them here are the warm, encouraging people living in the other rooms. It's why it's so difficult to see people move on, seeing life pull them away from something they want.

This year has been one of many changes here at Atangard. Almost all the faces have changed since the project started four years ago. Even for someone who, in the greater context, hasn't lived here very long, I've seen an almost complete turn-over of residents. Since moving in a year-and-a-half ago, there are seventeen new faces. Six people remain from that time, only two of which are from the original group that moved in in 2009. And that excludes those who came and went while I lived here. We are a shining example of the transience of our generation.

This is not unique to Atangard. Whether through graduating from college, moving cities to start careers, or forming relationships that pull us from our hometowns, people our age end up moving around a lot. A well known preacher and speaker commented on this recently, saying that our generation desires community, but is unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to create it. I think that although some truth can be found in that, it is not that we are unwilling to make the sacrifices. We are often forced, through no fault of our own, to sacrifice community for the opportunities presented to us. Especially for those with post-secondary degrees, who are looking to begin careers in the fields of their studies, it can be very difficult to find meaningful work. Growing up in our culture, so many of us were encouraged to go to college or university, that now the job-market is over-crowded with BA's. Almost any given job now requires years of experience, that can only be found in the very jobs that are asking for it. In order to find work in our disciplines, we chase opportunities, which often pull us away from our social groups, whether that be family, friends, churches or others. To not work for minimum wage or wait tables, post-grads must either jump deeper into dept for masters degrees or move to where the jobs are. Both options tend to strip people from their communities. The millenial's sacrifice of community is less of a choice and more often a necessity for survival in our culture.

For someone who believes in committing to a community, I can have trouble not taking it personally when people decide to sacrifice it for the opportunities being presented to them. I need to consciously step back and realize that some day I may need to do the same thing, and that their need to find their own place in society does not necessarily reflect on their ability to commit to the here and now. Their need to follow their life-goals does not mean they have commitment issues. It is possible to love something and let it go.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Calgary Herald talks "Intentional communities"

Beth and Mark our old roomies talk to the Calgary Herald about living in community. Read "Intentional communities"