Small but Important Elements of Being with Others

Kate & Ollie

In Community: The Structure of Belonging, Peter Block wrote that the key to creating or transforming community is to see the power in the small but important elements of being with others. Community and belonging have been at the center of my interest for quite some time and I’m learning to pay attention to and learn from present day interactions that provide keys to creating and transforming community. But, I’ve not thought much about past interactions from my childhood. When I did, my neighbors Kate and Ollie came to mind.

My visits with Kate and Ollie were filled with conversation.  Each time I knocked on their door, Ollie would graciously welcome me inside even though my visits were random and unannounced.  I would sit in their overstuffed chair, we would talk about our day. Kate was not well. I remember how lovingly Ollie cared for her.

What memories do you have of your neighbors? Did you have a neighbor that made you feel especially welcome?  How did you connect with or get to know your neighbor(s)?


Filed under Art and Learning, Community, Misc, My Art

7 responses to “Small but Important Elements of Being with Others

  1. Leaving a small comment 🙂
    Wonderful art Candee- great to hear from/see you!

  2. Thank you…it’s good to be back.

  3. Pingback: Resilient Community « World of Possibility

  4. Love this. You might be interested in some of our work on artistic inquiry and collaborations in “small” cities:



  5. Even though I live in a very helpful neighborhood that is connected with memories and shared experiences, there is one neighbor from my childhood that especialy stands out to me after reading this. Gladys was a wonderful woman, and she always had such fabulous stories to tell about anything I could have ever thought about back then. She had the most AMAZING phone in the world, with such BIG numbers ( I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was because she had trouble seeing ). I would go visit with her and we would share stories and laughter, and I would show her my new tricks on my roller-blades while she would clap and cheer for me. I drew her pictures, and she hung them on her refrigerator. The most spectacular thing about this woman was how much she cared for all of us neighbor kids. She always remembered our names and ages, where we went to school or if we were homeschooled, our pets, our friends, and what we loved to do. Even as she got older and was left to stay inside, she always remembered who we were. She made certain to make all the kids on the street special bags of candy on Halloween with their names written on them in big, bold letters. Now she has passed away, and I am left not knowing whether the house is vacant or somebody else lives there. I have been inspired once again though to make time for visiting my neighbors, even if it is just to laugh and talk. Maybe I will find a young kid in the house that Gladys lived in and be able to make them feel special like Gladys always made me feel special.

  6. Hello,
    One of your blog friends/readers (“Starrlife”) introduced me to your site and artwork, and I am so glad she did. Community building has always been very important to me, so it’s fitting that I’m “meeting” you with this particular post. For years I’ve connected with my neighbors through my son’s school — having a child really helps a person set down roots in a community.

    Additionally, I have been a local newspaper columnist for many years. Though I publish nationally, writing for local publications brings me close to people in my town — people I wouldn’t have met if they hadn’t found me in the paper on Sundays. I’ve forged many new friendships this way, and continue to write locally.

  7. Reblogged this on World of Possibility and commented:

    I’m reposting this…..just because.

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