Community life

d i s s o l u t i o n

Listening Tree Cooperative voted 2 to 1 on Monday night to disband. Those of us left at the end could not get along, lost track of or did not know how to resolve conflict, and no longer wanted to live together.

Maybe just another COVID casualty. Maybe another caterpillar melting in a chrysalis.

Addendum: when I wrote the above, I was being very generous. What is more true for me is: Listening Tree died due to a crisis over sexual ethics. The major unresolved conflict was about whether people in positions of relative power have a right to sex with those with less, such as students, WWOOFers, potential renters, renters, and younger people; whether those with less power can freely consent in those situations. Intentional communities have to grapple with this issue if they expect to create a healthier and less oppressive culture than the mainstream.

-Karina Lutz, co-founder

12 thoughts on “d i s s o l u t i o n”

  1. Hi Karina, this sounds painful. You all certainly tried something very difficult, forging ahead where many of us humans must go to develop/maintain a healthy planet and community. I have a theory that such efforts are not wasted, even if they must disband, because some dent has been made in conventional thinking and new ways have filtered out all over the place – you just don’t know where. Libby Edgerly


    1. Yes, I think of the first community I visited, in 1979, and how that seed grew in my heart all these years. They probably didn’t remember me as soon as I left–it was a short visit. There was magic, it’s still afoot.


  2. That is truly sad news. If your metamorphosis includes another intentional living community, please keep me in the loop. I still believe that intentional living is wave of the future, but growing pains are to be expected. Best wishes for the future and be well.


  3. I’m sorry to hear you are disbanding. It seems to be the right coarse of action now. Good luck with buying and staying on with this beautiful property. The pot luck I attended a few years ago was a lot of fun. All my best wishes to you. Sara

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sara, we met a lot of amazing people through those potlucks! And the events. I will continue to host the Spoken Word! events—once it’s safe again to do so. Best wishes,


  4. Hello Karina,
    My fiance and I moved in down the street on Resevoir this past July. We are very sorry to hear that the coop has disbanded – we actually were looking up local farms to see if anyone nearby has goats that might want our Christmas tree and came across your website. I just wanted to say a neighborly hello and let you know that you should feel free to reach out if you need anything during such a challenging time. My cell is 845-661-5594. We are just a few houses down the road. (Also, if you have any goats, or anything else that enjoys eating Christmas trees, it’s all yours!)
    Stay safe!
    -Pam and Roy


  5. I do not know any of you… but I chanced upon a posting of your community on the IC website last spring. It felt so warm to see, and read of your heart-wish-vision and desires.

    We humans are such a thorny, bony mix.The supreme irony to your final chapter is that the kindest teacher and exemplar to rocket us out of our self-interested stupor…is our humble integration with the harmony of this beautiful land and planet.

    The first 6 inches of the forest floor contains the integral universe. Yet… how to successfully step on, and embed within that dizzying merry-go-round that is surrounded by the strewn casualties of beautiful people with strong heart-wish-desires. Yes, the inherent harmony of this beautiful land and planet; at times too close to see.

    My best wishes to you in your next steps, and may they leave an indelible imprint for others as you go. We will eventually find our way home.

    Billy D. Central Vermont

    Liked by 2 people

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