It’s interesting to think about where we fit and belong, the communities we call home and the relationships we have with them. I started pondering this a couple of days ago, and making notes, and the scale of it surprised me.
I have my blood family and the people I share history with – people who have lived in the same places, been through the same schools.
There’s the folk community – full of family ties and personal history. People I have played music with, people whose songs I sing, people I listen to. Also there’s the tribe that gathers for Genevieve Tudor’s folk program, and that’s an important weekly moment of belonging. I hope to put dancing back on that list.
I identify with the Pagan community, and with Druidry, and within that I belong a whole host of places – OBOD, The Druid Network, Druid Camp, Contemplative Druidry, Auroch grove, and through the bard side, it overlaps with the folk, and through my writing with the next lot…
Authors, book people, bloggers, readers, Moon Books, JHP fiction, other publishers. People I read and admire, storytellers, the local writing community and through those connections I branch out into…
Wider creative connections with artists, musicians, local creative folk, organisers of things, and I branch out into Steampunk, Comics, and geekery in general.
My Paganism also directs me to green activism, so that’s The Green Party, which is part of my local tribe, as is my engaging a bit with the Transition Network and other local, green, sustainable alternative outfits. People I know because they are local.
Eventually, I also managed to recognise that there are people who are in my life simply because they like what I do. I have a number of important connections based entirely on that.
Inevitably it’s the people who fit in more than one of those circles that I interact with most, because time is also a factor in all of this, and the more I share, the more time I tend to spend with someone. There are people I see once a year, or less, and there are people I pine for if I have to go more than a week, and I can manage an afternoon without Tom, but that’s my limit.
Of those people who I interact with in numerous ways, there are a few with whom I share creativity – either working together, or working alongside, swapping ideas and inspiration. This is a small tribe, and these relationships I pay a lot of attention to. They are the most defining ones in my life. It’s not any kind of coincidence that I married my artist… I am most emotionally invested in people with whom I can share creativity.
Beyond that, and overlapping with wider circles in all kinds of ways, is the tiny tribe I walk with. My most essential tribe.