A Coworker’s Perspective
This article was written by Kostiantyn, a second-year coworker from the Ukraine. It gives his perspective on a performance he participated last year in our community hall. Enjoy!
I feel electricity in the air. I’m not the only one to sense it, the rest of the group is overwhelmed with anticipation. Even Dave Grove tries to look nonchalant but I can tell he is anxious too. I don’t know how many people have come to see the performance and that gives me jitters. Ignorance is bliss, but not in this case. We are going to start off with “Hallo Django” (a German folk song), a simple but stylish one, ought to take us 60 years back in time. Welcome to the fifties, but unlike the TV show “Madmen”, this is real. I hear the first chords of the melody. The audience is silent. Time to go.
The audience members are from all the North American Camphill Communities, and they’ve come to California for a meeting of the Camphill Association of North America (CANA). They gather to tackle various issues including state regulations, fund-raising, and the aging community population. CANA is dedicated to the common good, development, and prosperity of the Camphill community.
What an auspicious beginning! We’ve been warmly received – a good sign! The audience even sang with us. The next song,“I’m Walking”, by Fast Domino matches our initial tones – rhythmic, dynamic, finger-snapping, and genuine. Our group of formally dressed young people strikes again.
What are CANA’s functions? It sets criteria for aspiring communities to become Camphills. The Association inspects prospective communities and reviews existing places every seven years. It has legal rights to change the status of a community to preserve Camphill’s high standards and ideals.
Camphill’s mission is to bring good to the earth and it is carried out by people that are passionate about caring for others and dedicate their lives to giving. The forefront of the Association’s actions lie here: in upholding and guarding spiritual underpinnings of Camphill.
Still full of trepidation, we proceed to the next part. “Imagine” by John Lennon has been a daunting hurdle, the most time consuming and draining piece to practice. Luckily, I am singing base, which is a relatively easy job, even though base is the bedrock of any song. I can only imagine what the rest of the group is going to go through, especially the first-time lead singers, Jannis and Johannes.
Next up, a living entity; a denizen of our community: Eurythmy. A sequence of movements that represent spoken words and bring beauty, joy, and calmness. Szilvia Budai directed us in a piece that required a creative impulse, which our community never lacks. It was a short but robust incorporation of a Mozart classic and a Rudolf Steiner verse and included challenging elements like rod catching. Despite minimal practice, the audience was struck by our organization, smoothness and elegance.
The finale was a community collaboration. Thanks to musical geniuses, Dave Grove and Philip Jacob, we turned the depressing tune, “Somebody that I used to know” by Gotye, into a joy-inspiring ode to friendship, “Somebody that we’ll get to know”. Friends and co-workers swallowed up stage fright and showed that with each other’s support, the sky is the limit. After singing, I realized the strength of our community. Every person was indispensable, and this conjoint effort tightened our bonds. Despite my lack of singing skills, I enjoyed myself and sung better than I ever had. We sent a message: no matter what kind of tribulations you are going through, being a part of our community means that there is somebody to back you up with a sympathetic, ear-to-ear smile.
We gather together
… can even cry.
I like it when you are next to me
Feels so lovely in your company
The time we will remember.