catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 9, Num 1 :: 2010.01.08 — 2010.01.21


Ten things we imagine at Huss School

Have you heard?  In 2009, *cino bought a school!  More specifically, *cino bought a 22,000 square foot brick school building built in 1918 on four acres of land in Three Rivers, Michigan.  2010 will be a year of beginning work on the site, fundraising and mostly: dreaming.  The rooms are empty containers for ideas.  The land is a canvas for beauty and flavor. 

As we’ve been getting to know the space, we’ve been filling it with imagined possibilities from people throughout the neighborhood, the city and even North America!  Here are some of the possibilities we’ve been envisioning for the future.  Some of these may not come to pass, but that’s okay.  Future realities don’t represent a limitation at this point in the process and it’s not all about me anyway  — it’s about us and what we build together.

1. Fruit trees.  As a plant, I love fruit trees for how they teach us humans about the give and take of relationships.  When you care well for the tree year after year, it literally feeds you.  Of course, it can be frustrating when birds come and take all of the berries before the harvest or when a frost freezes off the apple blossoms, but such disappointments also teach us to forgive.

2. A community kitchen.  Cooking and eating together does something for interconnectedness with each other and with the stuff of the earth that no detailed programming can ever do.

3. A local history display.  Three Rivers has many untold stories.  People who come to the school should be able to see themselves in the story, honor the diverse legacy of the people and have a foundation for participating in sorrow and reconciliation.

4. Unrelated adults and children calling each other by name.  Knowing each other’s names creates a platform for love, compassion and accountability, which is important especially when those things are lacking within a biological family.

5. Kids helping each other out.  It’s a good thing when kids can learn to help each other free of the sense of guilt and obligation we adults often carry with us when we help others.  Being able to help at a younger age encourages a sense of agency and self-worth.

6. Original art.  Why buy Disney posters when we can get down and dirty and make something ourselves?  The process and the product will bring a collaborative spirit to the place.

7. A space for live performances.  Live theatre and music cultivate shared experiences that require the presence of several people in the same room at the same time.  Like eating together, performances create space for change that begins in the body, as well as collective lament, celebration and imagination.

8. Parties.  Sometimes people should get together just because with no agenda.  It’s good for us.

9. Comfortable beds.  To rest requires us to trust the place where we lay our heads and we hope the school will be a safe place, while also being a place of vulnerability and challenge, for visitors, for neighborhood residents, for all who enter.

10. Colors.  Flowers, murals, faces — the school should be a colorful place, made so through the participation of many.  The building itself has a spare historic beauty that will make a lovely background for whimsy.

your comments

comments powered by Disqus