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Monday, June 03, 2013

Kay's Guest Post

I'm in Heber, Connecticut, staying with my friends, Gordon, Kay, & their baby Mazzie.

I'm looking to hitch-hike soon to the Rainbow Gathering in Montana.  
I placed a post for the moneyless tribe (to be launched at the Gathering) in the Fellowship for Intentional Communities website, for those who want to join the tribe or want to network with us.  I hope to post more details about it just before I hit the road.

Meanwhile, I'm publishing my friend Kay's guest post here, at her request.  Kay is married to Gordon, my friend who made the short film, "Moneyless in Moab" back in 2006.  Kay is also the person who set me up to do a presentation at the Unitarian Church in Manchester last Friday, May 31st (I feel very good how the presentation went.  I also realized afterward that May 31st is the anniversary of when I drove the car off the cliff in 1991.  Kind of eerie, but showing wonderful redemption).  

Thanks, Kay, amiga mia:

Kay's Guest Post 

This is a guest post blog-a separate entry that Daniel is allowing rather than a comment that will get lost. I am currently Daniel’s host, and I am also his friend.

Seeing the comments that are made on his blog—the insightful, the supportive, the critical and the repetitive (seriously folks, read his FAQ before making the same tired jabs and comments over and over)—I wanted to offer my perspective, and give some answers to the person that is Daniel * in his relations with others.*

He is a solitary guy in that his path is his own, and his ambitions and lifestyle are for very few. I live in a house, have a job, a partner, a baby, bills—the same things all of you do. But what I believe ends up ‘missing’ from the virtual Daniel is that he is a very real, very warm human being. He uses his blog to make a point, but those who know him as a person know that this is only one side of him. Just like all of you who make comments (that are sometimes so hurtful and angry!) that show only one facet of who you are, this blog is only one side of him. When we are with him, we never discuss his writings. His philosophies are wound around dialogue that is engaging and thoughtful. He is delightfully sarcastic, witty, and humorous.

My partner has known Daniel for over twenty years, before he gave up money. Did they remain friends after that? What kind of friend abandons another when they are faced with a human who has made great changes that make them feel better (and note, you trolls- HURT NO ONE?) Most of us have long-term friendships with people who become religious, give up drinking, change sexual orientation, get divorced, or other life changes that make us make mental adjustments of the person we knew, and know now. For these two friends, it was met with barely a shrug of the shoulder, and they moved on from that point, with the main change being that it was now harder to keep in contact.

I met Daniel seven years ago, as we flew out to Moab to see him. I was self-admittedly both curious and apprehensive. One very real question I had, which seems absurd now was, would he want to hug? Would he smell? How would I do it without touching his grungy clothes, or hands? That was my lesson... that to be without money does not mean to be without pride, or hygiene, or morals, or standards. And I took to him very quickly. As many do. Whether these people are his friends as a result of their support in his cause, or in complete oblivion to it, Daniel has a lot of friends. People like him. Enough to host him at their houses. Enough to trust them with their houses and pets as a sitter. Enough to give him rides. For some of you, I wonder—if you took a cross country trip, would you have enough friends who would help you out? Would your presence be welcome in their homes for more than a day? How about a week? Would you offer to cook meals, or stack two cords of wood, or forage and find food to help your hosts? Do you have the grace to know when to give a family their space, or when it is time to move on?

And this is the point I want to make. It is easy to judge someone from the other side of a computer screen. It is just as easy to type comments and hit send without understanding the social side of Daniel that is free from judgment, dogma, or worry. Yes, he’s taking up space in on our couch. Yes, he’s consuming our food, and using our internet connection to post his philosophies that you are taking the time (from your oh-so-busy lives) to read. But you know what? We’re alright with that. The trade off we get in the camaraderie, travel stories, intelligent discussion and laughs is well worth whatever money we are ‘spending’ on him, and we give it freely.

18 comments:

  1. i have never met the man in my life but before i ever read his stories, blogs, or even knew who he was i had been dreaming to live this way for years. i hope to someday be a part of the tribe. i also wish the best for him and hope we meet someday.

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  2. Thank you for your inspiration Daniel. You are truly appreciated.

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  3. I looked all through the comments on these blogs for trolls and judges, to see what this person was talking about. I saw maybe a couple. This blog was the most judgmental thing I found. One person is set up on a pedestal and anyone that crosses him is judged and called "trolls"? Ick. I think I will find more intelligent and interactive blogs to hang out on, instead of this exclusive, worship-this-one-guy place. This place is obviously headed down the wrong road. Bye bye. A.D.

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    1. There's not a road on earth that isn't a wrong road for some, right road for others. May you enjoy your travels away from this your wrong road. Watch out for trolls under bridges (though you might not find many or any on other roads, because, unlike this one, most are censored, trolls banished or restricted).

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  4. Just to get this out of the way... hey anonymous, you are a troll. No wonder you didn't recognize the others. The familiar is often lost in translation. Okay, enough of that.

    I, too, have been friends with Daniel for twenty years. Wow, that's a long time. I've watched him transform himself and his life over and over to keep up with the tides. I've watched him struggle and I have watched him thrive. I have been in awe of him through it all. So if we have him on a pedistal, maybe there is a reason for that.

    I left Moab ten years ago. I haven't been able to get back there since, so I haven't seen Daniel in all of that time. Yet I know that I can turn to him at any point for anything and he will be there for me, without judgement, just ready to love me. That's just who he is. It explains why he has countless friends ready to welcome him in. He is just a remarkable human being and I feel honored that I can call him friend. Rock on, Daniel. Rock on! Love you, man!

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    1. Wow... 10 years. Has it been that long? Too long, huh? Love rebounded to you, Kelly, amiga mia.

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  5. " Rock on, Daniel. Rock on! Love you, man! "

    I second the motion !

    gina

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  6. any transcripts of moneyless in moab

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    1. Hmm... don't think so. But we or somebody could make one.

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    2. thanks suelo about transcripts whenever time permits.

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  7. “People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Nietzsche

    Kay – I realize that its tough to see your friend criticized or judged by others, but this is inevitable. The Japanese proverb “The nail that sticks out gets hammered” illustrates my point. Our success in this crazy world should not be measured by applause, but rather by the abuse that we receive for destroying illusions. The word ‘martyr’ is derived from the Greek, and its original meaning was ‘witness.’ So many people have been killed for witnessing the truth, that the word has transformed into its modern meaning. I admire Daniel for taking a stand in what he believes – regardless of the abuse that this brings upon him. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    ~ freebird

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  8. Hey Suelo, this is Dan Baker. I am joining your tribe (ashalla) and I will be in Deer Lodge Montana in 2-3 days. Shall we coordinate? I look forward to meeting you and the tribe!

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    1. Dan, I'm hitching out of CT on Sat - late start. I have to be in Billings, MT at least by June 20 to meet some folks. Maybe we can coordinate before the gathering. If not, see you there! :-)

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  9. To anonymous above. I don't see you as a troll. I think you make some good points. I also thought the guest blog was a bit harsh and judgmental. In fact most everything written here is judgmental including your post, my post and Suelo's response to you.
    Why go away? I doubt you'll find many places that aren't judgmental. You've already learned something here.It may not be what was intended but it's still a very good lesson. It's like anything on the web. You read, think it over and see if the words and actions really are the same. Then and maybe this is the unfortunate part or maybe not you make a judgment.

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  10. Everybody's getting a little testy huh?

    So, is this a competition to see who's known Daniel the longest? LOL

    I think I win. I've known Daniel for over half a century. Changed his diapers as a matter of fact. :)

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  11. I've reread Kay's comments and, frankly, I do not see where she is being judgmental. She does, in fact, do what she states...provide perspective and answers. I don't see anything here that is "Daniel Worship". What I do see are many people judging Daniel and I'm sensing that comes from a knee-jerk reaction to feeling judged in some indescribable way by Daniel merely because he dares to live his way - as if his lifestyle is making others feel wrong. Thus, the defensiveness and attacks. Mark Sundeen wrote something similar in his book, "The Man Who Quit Money".

    I met Daniel a couple months ago at a Red Cry movie viewing and he is more "real" than most people I have ever met. His essence is pure and I found my inner self moved by his presence. This is not worship...it is simply "inner being" in its true form.

    Since then, I have lost most of my possessions, housing, and will be relinquishing my vehicle soon. I live in one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. and my Chrysler is my roof. My church is extraordinarily rich and nobody has even come forward to store my few boxes of clothes, some books, and home videos of my kids. In Daniel's world there are people who resonate with him and open their hearts and homes. In my world, the comfort zone is, well...quite comfortable.

    I haven't determined that I am led to live without money, at least not on purpose :) and, right now, I feel that I can do more with it than without it in regards to, say, medical care for my sick child. That's not to say that the Moneyless Tribe might not sweep me up if they pass through in the future. I'm in my now and at peace with it. Daniel is clearly in his with great spiritual awareness.

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  12. I don't know where these "many people judging Daniel" are. It all looks fairly pro-Daniel to me. There was one comment complaining about the judgmentalism of the blog itself, and then someone judged him, not Daniel. Why would the complaint be judgmental but the blog itself not judgmental, nor the judge of the complainer or your comment not be judgmental? The standard of what judgmental seems to vacillate. The bar is raised or lowered depending on who is passing under it. Do they agree with your personal dogma or do they not? If they don't, they are judgmental and all kinds of ill motives are attached to them. If they do, they can judge all they like. Wooey!

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