Village Vitals


The Middle Classic is an adaptive publishing platform for sharing.


"Grow" by Chris Battaglia, 2009

"Grow" by Chris Battaglia, 2009

I have some thoughts that I’d like to share with you!

Yet, when I thought about what interesting things to send out, I immediately think about a conversation I just heard in a podcast about that very word itself: “sharing.” 

Author Nicholas John asserts in the podcast, New Books in Sociology, that “without any training as a linguist, I have always been fascinated by language.” This is how I feel. Although I am guilty sometimes (daily) of wincing at improper use of “good” versus “well,” I am mostly trying to understand words and phrases meanings through their everyday uses.

In this conversation, John brings to light, that “sharing” actually comes from the same word as “shearing.” When thinking about the concept in present day, I think of sharing on social media and the resulting division: 

  1. That sharing information, such as political news, can be divisive. We’ve seen in this most recent presidential election how polarizing the general public’s ability to share and not-share information, as well as opinions, can be.
  2. The very basic condition that you are who you decide to show to the world via sharing “your best self.” Bullshit. This is mostly coming through the static as dividing the things you want seen, and the things you don’t. It’s as simple as that, and so clear when looking at “sharing” in the digital age with its historical context. 

So through some adaptation, John suggests that the word “sharing” in our world today implies you are telling something that is emotionally significant. “Sharing is what linguists call a performative - it sets you up to expect something.” 

Let’s start sharing emotionally significant things! I'd like to know why someone shares something, and not have to be left thinking "why did they share that, and why did I just spend so much time looking at that things?"

>>> I’d like to begin, and I’d like to set you up to expect something important from me. 

I would like to begin sharing readings and interesting things that come my way, with anyone who will read, listen, and lastly, reciprocate. Although emailing and writing is fairly singular, I aim to rediscover the importance of several tenets in life. 

Personally, my outlet, ethos, and mission will be a Story of Basics. I’m going to address topics such as Shelter, Clothing, Food, and Fuel, but not always so literally.

  • Shelter can be furniture, green building design, or contemporary art buying from emerging artists.
  • Clothing may  totally functional elements of bodily covering and protection as opposed to fashion — rooted in conscious consumer choices.
  • Food and drink education covers a wide array of topics, from nut milks to permaculture, foraging, and fermentation.
  • And most interestingly: Fuel. Fuel is up for grabs, but to me, means the fuel to fire your days (coffee) and your nights (booze), or catalyze thoughts on new topics, finding your flow, and more. The goal is to be intentional and civic-minded.  

I know this is a lot of content to take in, but I'd like to become a resource for people who need them. A go-to for finding experts or professionals in a certain field. I am someone you can hire for a creative job to document organic farming and small business in the mountains of Guatemala. Or I am going to connect you to a friend in a new city you're traveling to. So for right now, I'll share two things I found recently to be helpful.

The Complicity Cleanse - 
This is from a friend, Anthony Ford, who shared with his digital network this free, email newsletter. I was curious, signed up, and was happy immediately with the content. If you go to the site to signup, you'll notice the engaging: "Sign Up to Opt Out / Fill out this form and press YES! By doing so you agree to receive a daily Complicity Cleanse menu by email for 21-days, or the remainder of the cleanse. You also agree to try, to hope, to awaken, to take less and to give more."

Bon Iver at Pioneer Works / Brooklyn, NY / 2016 - 
Ben Key and I were emailing back and forth, and we agree this is "The Perfect Concert." It is Vernon's newest album, live, and documented by NPR. Personally, I love the way he is adept with new technology, and uses it to augment, not detract from his music. Sonically, the arrangements are spectacular; it is clear these are talented instrumentalists and musicians. I am also a sucker for the horn section. Listen to the horns!

Finally, the readings for the week that I've scanned, laid out like your college professor, and sent digitally! Even includes the beautiful front cover of the version I maintain here at home. Given the political climate, and being an ally with the Women's March this coming weekend (unfortunately cannot attend, explained below), I recommend you definitely read Putnam's first chapter in Bowling Alone. It is a great compass to social change, and a stimulating few pages. You'll see more of this book later.


Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, Table of Contents (vi-xv) / LIGHT 

Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone, “Thinking About Social Change in America” (15-28) / MEDIUM 

Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things, “The Psychology of Everyday Actions” (37-72) / EASY 

Juliet Schor, The Consumer Society Reader, “Towards a New Politics of Consumption,” (446-462) / MEDIUM

Thank you for participating, engaging, and I look forward to conversations around sharing, the readings this week, and hearing from you. This is all very important to me, and so are you.

Please share with anyone you think may enjoy, and have them sign up through to receive more of these updates.

Notes on the readings:
Author and educator Juliet Schor opened my eyes to a new world of sociological and economic theses on consumer society and the politics behind consumerism. Reading Putnam’s Bowling Alone shaped almost everything I do and see within the landscape of anything-and-everything “community” related. I only shared Alexander’s Table of Contents from Timeless Way of Building because he is so honest in his note to the reader. I enjoy that he recommends you skim his book cover to cover, and upon finding content of note, only then to invest in its pages. Go ahead and look at some of those sections and chapter titles. I knew I had to embark on his series in Pattern Language with this single book. And lastly, for a pop-psychology/design read, spend thirty minutes with Don Norman’s chapter on the “Psychology of Everyday Actions.” Excuse the underlines for their curviness, but enjoy the notation. I have applied many of his epithets of advice and credo to things not at all related to design. See how some of these thoughts and themes relate to your own life. 

Linked content:
Nicholas A. John, "The Age of Sharing" 
Bon Iver - 

**Cannot attend the March because I am currently working for a company (Patagonia), who actually builds into its business structure "Activism Hours" in which employees are now able to participate in events and actually get paid a full or half-day pay to take part in history/world change/issues. It's a great company, and a great model. I'll be working to help cover the gals who are going from our Freeport, Maine store down to DC.