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the unofficial history of the Be Hive (plus invitation!)

the unofficial history of the Be Hive (plus invitation!)

Postby strangedoll » Jul 04, 2008 1:15 pm

so once upon a time I went to too much group therapy and support groups and thought "Why is everyone always TALKING all the time? I wanna do something else. I like these people. I wish we could just hang out together instead of taking turns in a circle..."

then my crazy friend was like "oh, I'm have this big dream about this place like a drop-in but not and with scrappy recycled art and saving plants and healing rooms and a fax machine and crazy people reading poetry and making art together and playing games and doing reiki and stuff."

and I thought "oh thats nice but it will never happen."

But the next thing I know she's got like business plans and buildings and posters. And we are having a party at the Westville Pub with a photobooth and lots of neighbors and community people are interested and it becomes this sort of bigger thing that I still don't really grasp.

but the building didn't really work out so the big dream was transformed into a tiny tangible piece for now. with all the other awesome stuff still in the works.

The Tiny Tangible Piece:
we started meeting at a borrowed space downtown. The Senior Opportunity Center. That sounds funny, I know. But most of the seniors aren't there in the afternoon and they have a great space. Sofas, big tv (including a wii), lots of tables, open space for dancing, a green house, outdoor seating and flower boxes, a pool table.. and they love us.

So anyway, we started meeting at the SOC. One afternoon a week. Sometimes there are structured/planned things going on. Most of the time we just see who comes and where the energy falls. Its sometimes 4 people, sometimes 8, sometimes 20.

Some things we do sometimes:
** we paint. we paint our own stuff or we paint big collaborative paintings. I have an amazing one hanging in my front hall (temporarily) right now. I should post a picture. Its really beautiful.

** we play games. We play pool. We do wii bowling. We have scrabble and other board games. We played Monster Cards a couple of times which is a made up game where you make your own cards and its incredible way to get to know people.

** we yell and dance and move in funny ways. We do playback theatre games. we throw balls. We do Nia. we spin around in spinny skirts just because we can.

** we're making a zine. working on pages individually that will be copied and collaborated when we've got enough. many of the people who are making the zine are not of the zine-generation and have never heard of one before.

** we read stuff and talk about it. We had an Icarus Project Reader book group. it spawned some pretty intense discussions. we've shared other zines made by folks around here too.

** we make mad maps. actions plans. wellness plans. WRAP sheets. we talk about what we need and what we like and what means we are well and sick and who are support people are.

** we share resources and information. we give each other info about acupuncture and support groups and cheap fishing licenses and stuff going on in the community. we talk about meds and herbs and energy work. we talk about cheap places to get food and the numbers to call when you need help.

** we plant seeds in little cups to bring home and nurture. we planted flowers all around the building to give everyone joy.

** we make tiny books. we color mandalas. we make collages.

** we sit around eating popcorn and talking. we don't do much at all. we just hear each others stories.

** we support each other outside of the group. some people walk together. some people send postcards or call. people trade and give mutual aid. we care about people in a big and real way.

** we accept people how they actually are, right now. that means its okay to come when I'm feeling anxious and jumping out of my skin. its okay to cry. its okay to get up and walk, go outside, take a break. its okay to come late and leave early. its okay to be withdrawn and just want to sit on the sofa and be near but not engage. its not a place where I have to feel good perfect well presentable to come. its a place where I know people aren't gonna look at me funny no matter where I'm at.

** its a place for all people. you don't have to have a diagnosis to come. no recommendations or money are necessary.

** and we EAT!
and we'll be eating this Tuesday. Snack-luck for ALL! Bring something to share or just bring yourself. Bring instruments if you play. Bring your imaginary friend.

Tuesday 1:30- 4pm
at the SOC
on Grove Street (#34 maybe?) downtown Asheville, NC

Hope to see you there!
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Postby xenobia » Aug 28, 2008 3:34 am

This almost made me cry, except that I was smiling so hard while reading it.

I hope it continues, and that when I wander out that way, I can drop in. It sounds so perfect. ( and my version of perfect takes into consideration all the imperfect aspects of any aspect of anything, so, it works out as really perfect, regardless of what the reality is..)

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Postby strangedoll » Aug 28, 2008 10:18 am

thank you thank you for replying and making this thread land in my inbox. to be honest I sort of lost my way, forgot this vision. after my hospitalization, i wanted space from all the mental health organizing, from all the crazy people... really i just wanted space from myself. i started viewing the project/place/afternoon more as "work" and less as "play." reading this again reminded me of why i love doing it, of why its so very very important.

i love that about this board. sometimes i write people words of strength when i feel well and then months later when i feel like crap, they magically reply in my email again. just when i needed to hear them.

and yes, would love to have you come play!!
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Postby lupine » Aug 29, 2008 7:48 am

beautiful! we have somethin' like that in our town, but it's run by County Mental Health... I think you inspired me a bit, though!
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Postby strangedoll » Feb 25, 2009 10:51 am

oh there is buzzing buzzing buzzing! bees have been in hibernation over the winter and so much is born from that inward place.

here is one of the paintings we made at the Be Hive last year. It's a collaborative painting. one person took a reused canvas and painted over most of it, the next person added some grass and then more and more people painted stars and bugs and textures. we put it out every week for probably a month. I think about 12 people worked on it.

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