One of the first conversations of our Have Seeds journey was with Jordan Walker, who stopped in Los Angeles on the first leg of his own cross-country travels. During our time with him, he described the work forming in Marin County around the Creative Compound. Our paths then seemed to crisscross as we made our way around the country. As Dottie and I picked up the next stage of our journey in September, I flew into Sacramento and made the drive out to Point Reyes Station and saw a space full of unfolding potential. The Creative Compound is simultaneously retreat, studio, and laboratory with many projects taking root.
It was beautiful to learn more about Jordan’s current work and to see how he’s meeting the future. In Point Reyes Station, he has created a fabulous space in which each object is imbued with intentionality. This space allows for a conscious slowing down. In the local community, Jordan has been attending a Quaker meeting in which he is usually the only participant. Still he goes, sitting in quiet even when no one else arrives. This meeting is in the same building as the ecstatic dance project for which he DJs—a wonderful picture of the combination of depth and playfulness Jordan embodies.
In considering the use of social media, we discussed the beauty that can be shared through poetry and the arts. Jordan made the call for “unflinching depth.” What a fabulous striving and one that I carry forward in my heart. I shared the growing connections that Dottie and I are finding to the work of Henry and Christy Barnes, and learned that Jordan had been present with Henry Barnes in New York the day before he died. This Henry Barnes seems to light our path everywhere we go!
Last summer, Jordan moved from New York to Point Reyes Station, north of San Francisco. John Gouldthorpe has been living in the area for several years, carrying the vision of a shared space for collaborative research and encounter. He and Jordan met at a workshop with Dennis Klocek. When Jordan visited, he had a strong sense that Point Reyes was where he needed to be. The property sits in a quiet landscape a short distance from the Tomales Bay Wetlands. Walking the nearby trails at dusk, we could see the silhouettes of cows moving slowing across the horizon on the hills.
At the Creative Compound, there is a strong feeling of making room for the other, for community. Both John and Jordan spoke of only needing a little room for themselves, creating quiet sleeping quarters that allowed the largest parts of each of their houses to remain open as common areas. A houseboat also sits on the property, where Jordan lived for the last year. He has now moved into one of the other buildings, completing the light-filled living area with a geodesic dome built by Lachlan Grey, his partner in the new forms project. Entering this place, my jaw dropped at the beauty of it all!
In the main room of John’s house, there is a common area with a library and room for presentations and research. The space of future worktables is blue-taped out on the wooden floors downstairs, holding the potential for the twelve collaborators who will come together around a given project. There is room for participants to sleep and even more room outdoors to pitch tents near the garden. Herbs are growing, and we enjoyed fresh beans right from the garden. John is interested in exploring the alchemical work that can be taken up in this space.
Lachlan has been creating out of the sunlit studio space, having made several visits out from Spring Valley, NY in the last year. While I was there, he completed a hexagonal door for the dome with a staff fashioned from copper rod tipped with wooden doweling that he found among John’s endless supplies. “This is a real eurythmy rod,” Jordan said, remembering the work of Dean Pollard, who has brought a new form of applied eurythmy with a larger copper rod to meet our times. It was beautiful to see the joy with which Lachlan offered and Jordan received this new staff. Each area of the Creative Compound feels carefully curated, while leaving room for the unseen and, as of yet, unimagined that can arise through future encounter.
With a strong anthroposophical foundation, one of the wonderful aspects of the community coming into being at the Creative Compound is the openness with which John and Jordan are meeting the world. They are finding collaborators both within and outside of anthroposophy, meeting everyone in their truest humanity. John shared that if he says to someone, “Your soul is aesthetic and longs for beauty,” he is met with immediate understanding and interest. “The soul’s mode is imagination,” he added. Now 52 years old, John met the work of Rudolf Steiner four years ago. He considers Steiner to be the most important spiritual influence and guide for himself, while he is also conversant in and appreciative of a range of other spiritual traditions. John imagines a series of recorded interviews with participants who visit. He has put together an initial recording in which he interviewed Jordan about his picture of a new wholeness, reuniting natural science, the arts, and spirituality.
The coworkers at the Creative Compound are entering three years of research into value. Event participants are encouraged to determine how they will acknowledge value with or without money, thus freely contributing to the coming into being of each project. This gesture works in the spirit of a pay-it-forward model, while bringing a greater possibility of collaboration. How can we best achieve conscious and participatory community?
There are two upcoming events with Henrike Holdrege of the Nature Institute. One is an experimental weekend workshop focusing on Color Between Light and Darkness ~ Atmospheric and Prismatic Color. This event will be followed by three evenings on Thinking by Doing: An Introduction to Projective Geometry. To create an open space for participants to contribute to the events, the invitations state:
“The workshop cost is determined through the following equation: its value to you factored by your current capacity to pay. In a market driven economy where every exchange is treated as a commodity, the human being has little room to participate in a life-affirming manner. For the next three years, we at the Creative Compound will research alternative economic structures that meet our ongoing costs while also honoring the free individual. We invite your participation.”
Look out for more to come from this new center of creativity and encounter on the west coast where a beautiful community is coming into being at the Creative Compound!