Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Rod Dreher has a post up about cohousing, which is evidently a new idea to him (it's not to me; I had a vaguely revolutionary boyfriend once who was interested in trying it, and had even gone to visit a cohousing community upstate to see if it might be for him; he was disappointed, though, that this particularly community was centered around caring for its elderly members, as his unstated, but real, hope was to recreate the free-love atmosphere of 1967).
Rod Dreher's post was timely for me. I miscarried over the weekend, and, since I knew this would happen and that I would need help with things like housework and childcare, I made a few phone calls on Friday while out with a friend and our children to try to arrange this with family members. My friend asked if I couldn't call my parish to find someone who could bring over a meal or two. The notion surprised me; I would never even have considered it, because that sort of thing doesn't happen in my community. I wonder it this is an indication that American Catholicism has diverged irrevocably from its roots in immigrant communitarianism, and it calls into mind all kinds of questions about the uncomfortable relationship between Catholic solidarity and American individualism (the latter of which, incidentally, Joan Didion blamed for the fiasco of the 1960s youth rebellion). Perhaps some of you are lucky enough to live in parishes or other faith communities where the members approach one another in the spirit of Christian charity. I wonder what that might be like. As it is, my experience as a Catholic has had little of the sense of loving community about it, which is something for which having an online community is a kind of antidote.