We are a collective house in Columbus, OH creating a life together around shared principles, a wood stove, and much more!
WHAT’S A MIDDEN?
A midden is an intriguing or marvelous rubbish heap. Packrats and octopi make middens—so do ocean currents and human civilizations. We call our house The Midden because we make use of the artifacts (groceries, furniture, shoes) thrown away or overlooked by mainstream society. And all the while, we’re using this stuff to build more whole and meaningful systems to provide for ourselves.
We also love to care for each other, share our skills and ideas, and do what we can to confront systems of oppression that bring us all down. We’re eco-activists, prison abolitionists, housing justice advocates, writers and theatre artists, adventurous human beings and more.
There is some other specific information about us on our Intentional Communities page. This community is a work in progress. If you think you’d make a good member or are feeling otherwise intrigued and would like to talk more, get in touch!
What We’re About:
We do it ourselves (DIY)
Capitalism and consumerism have detached us from our surroundings and from each other; we choose to re-connect through stubborn ingenuity. Our days are lively and varied, filled with carpentry, impromptu cop watches and adventures in foraging. We don’t need Wal-Mart or the police, social ladders or corporate careers. We grow, process, and patch things together. We invent, make, and maintain our social, physical and economic world.
Hierarchy and domination rule the day, but we don’t need to let them rule our lives. As an alternative we practice horizontal decision making: basically, we share our feelings, thoughts and motivations in order to reach an honest and compelling consensus. We don’t spend time or resources on party politics or “charity” because poverty, bigotry and oppression (for example) are not problems within the social order, but problems caused by the social order.
We recognize the interconnectedness of systems of privilege and oppression, and we are not content to leave their (broken, painful) effects alone. Let’s relate in a way that doesn’t choke the life out of us. So: we train in self-defense, and deal directly with conflict rather than deferring to authorities. We work to create free and safe spaces. We practice communism, egalitarianism, active communication and mutual aid. We disrupt the status quo. We queer stuff.
Responsible use of resources
Every tool is a weapon—if you hold it right. We recognize that we live in a society that is based on infinite growth in a world with finite resources, so we use and reuse what we can. We choose to deepen and defend social and ecological diversity before pursuing our own financial interests. We also recognize that “resources” are not only physical materials but also our bodies, our energy, our time and our friends; they are rainwater, wild foods, dumpsters.
Fuck this isolated society and the ways we’re taught to interact! It is all of our business; we have a situation here. We deploy the power of people and community not to banish solitude but to conquer isolation. Our community extends beyond the walls of our house into the city, across the state, and into national and global networks. We travel! We host pot lucks and guests. We make time to be present with each other and with ourselves. We help our neighbors. We rant at city council meetings. We share inspiration and intimacy; creativity, curiosity, and fun.
We defend space that is safe, secure, and reliable for ourselves and our friends. We know where we stand in relation to the neighborhood, the city and the community—and we own and shape that position. We practice security culture. We protect ourselves (to the best of our ability) from crisis both within and from outside the house. We hold policies and practices that keep us stable, effective and creative as individuals and as a group. By pausing to think about what we think, want and need, we make ourselves resilient and able to adapt to change.