life portugal

“Food Circle Now” – Our Lives of Isolation

I’m still being deeply affected by my time at Rainbow although leaving there a couple of days ago. After leaving Rainbow for a couple of days in Porto, Portugal, the home of Port wine, I went out to dinner at a restaurant which had been recommended a man named Mario who was making and selling jewelery on the riverfront. While there, I noticed the usual, that everyone was eating either alone or in couples and occasionally as families. The strange thing about it was that it felt totally unnatural. Why were people dining and spending time so separately from one another? At Rainbow, we all eat together, sometimes making 4 or more concentric circles for, in this case, a peak of nearly 2,000 people. Calls for “Food Circle!” reverberate for an hour or more before the actual meal is served so that people have time to come from wherever they are camped/gathered to share the meal together. The call becomes “Food Circle, Now!” as a final reminder when the food is brought from the kitchen to the center of the main circle.

It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me why we have come to live such lives of separation. It has become our natural flow, our way of doing things, but I tell you, it just seemed strange to me to eat alone and to see others doing the same or with minimal company. I noticed on Facebook today that someone I know is struggling with getting by financially while living alone with her dog, even though she is working full time. Another dear friend of mine can’t seem to find 15 free minutes in her life to relax or to attend to non-critical tasks because she has a job, a young child she cares for as a single mother, and a dog. What about living communally and sharing rent, sharing costs, sharing tasks and responsibilities, sharing personal and emotional support, sharing our unique capacities and skills? It seems like it would take so much of the stress out of life that seems to be being bred in our industrial/technological age of more isolated existence.

These are still just thoughts, but they arise from the beauty of traveling and expanding our horizons a little which affords us an opportunity to experience life from another perspective, and perhaps return home to integrate into something more and other than that which we were before we left.

“Food Circle, Now!!!”

One reply on ““Food Circle Now” – Our Lives of Isolation”

I'm cautious about posting on this topic, especially when I don't know anything about Rainbow, but I will say this about why people will eat alone (or spend time alone – by choice): our brains vary greatly from person to person. Some love being with others all the time – and they might go to places like Rainbow, where that characteristic is magnified. Others much prefer the quiet and calm (tension mostly comes from dealing with others) of isolation. And something like Rainbow would be very off-putting.

This is the beauty of the range of who humans are. These extremes and middle ground and we are often both – sometimes we want to be with others, sometimes alone. But we also have our own leaning, which might be the preference of being alone.

I would be hesitant to pick one way over another.

But this seems perfect for you. Continued good exploration.


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