My short excursion to Rosia Montana this summer gave birth to something new. I met there a young man who attended both the cooking rocket stove workshop and one of the yoga sessions. I remembered he attended both but I did not know anything about him, nor his name … until he contacted me sometime after the event. His name is Andrei and according to his twitter profile he was from Strasbourg and was associated with a community called Edgeryders. Hinted by the German Strasbourg I assumed Edgeryders was a German name of a physical community in which he lived and tried to read it accordingly “ed-gar-eeders” or something. It was only on my 2nd or 3rd visit that somehow I figured out it was to be read as “Edge Riders”.
I then found and immersed myself in EdgeRyders. Browsing the website does not clarify what EdgeRyders is and I am not inclined to try explaining it. I resonated deeply with the name (given where my life has taken me). Once inside I felt a strong pull. When I joined the site I started receiving update messages letting me know about activities taking place inside it. I found myself flooded by inviting information with a growing number of open browser tabs I wanted to spend more time in.
A strong signal came when I discovered that Noemi, one of the prominent voices and founders of EdgeRyders, is from Cluj. On my next visit to the city we met face to face, Andreea was there too. After the meeting Andreea and I shared our fascination that there are young people, like Noemi, who begin their adult life with understanding and values that we, Andreea and I, have had discover via a long and tiring journey of escaping from the truths we were handed when we headed out into life. We don’t experience such connection often so when we did with a complete stranger we felt a surge of hope for the world we live in.
It seems that EdgeRyders have a tradition of meeting face-to-face once a year. This year the event is called Living on the Edge 3 and is happening in Italy and I will be joining them. That I am going, and the ease with which I decided to go, is still a surprise to me.
I have been living in retreat for over 2 years. Yet inside my retreat I have been awakening to something new. I think it started with Cutia Taranului – a community supported agriculture project we created – where, having decided to retreat from society, I found myself at the heart of a social project. Though, on further consideration, I think it started when the myth of “self-sustainability” crashed in my consciousness. I have not lived, in this lifetime, with a sense of community and I now believe that community is key to sustainability and yet I have no idea what community is or can be. When I moved out to Bhudeva I wanted to be left alone, now I want to be left together.
Actually, the decision to go to Italy reflected to me how much I have retreated. I got a surprising wave of direct and indirect feedback of congratulations and happiness that I am “stepping out of my cave”. A friend asked me in recent weeks if I am happy … and I answered that I am not. He then asked me if I can recall when I was last happy and what makes me happy … and I could … with surprising ease. I am happy when I teach Yoga. I was happy when I was working with Shahar. I gave up both before moving to Romania and put even more distance between myself and those activities upon moving out to Bhudeva.
So joining EdgeRyders in Italy is not only me coming out of retreat but also a first attempt to partake in community and a shot at happiness. I will be giving Yoga sessions in the mornings (four sessions which will hopefully give enough time to build up something of depth and substance). I’ll also be facilitating a session on design focusing on the EdgeRyders online presence with a hope of opening a path for me to express my creative energies in a new context.
The event will take place in a small city called Matera. This will be my longest stay in a city in 18 months. I have found much comfort from this video of Matera: