I love the idea of community, people sharing and encouraging one another. But it has always been a real challenge for me to make those connections with others.  My Grandmother would share stories of how while she was growing up everyone pulled together and worked together and I would listen and wonder what happened that caused it all to stop. She said my Great Grandmother Lydia, would leave in the middle of the night sometimes to go deliver a baby or take care of someone who was sick.

I saw how a small community like Windsor Colorado pulled together after a tornado wiped out the east side of the town. It was amazing how everyone gave what they could and helped clean up the debris afterwards. People who had been neighbors for a few years with no more then a slight exchange were now standing in the middle of the street talking like long lost friends.  Even than I thought it was sad that the bond did not last after life returned to its previous normality.

My kids think  I share and talk too much to people I don’t know or just meet and lately I have been trying to be sensitive to their discomfort but it’s hard for me to not be me. To reach out and help someone or hand out change to those who ask for it, to laugh out loud, to share a piece of information or encourage someone who is feeling down. I think it is a subconscious desire within me for community and socially correct separateness is a challenge for me.

I was thinking about this the other morning and I began to write~

Where Are My People?

Who love GOD and their neighbor?

Not regulated by dictatorship disguised as doctrine

Not arrogance  and greed disguised as receive what you believe

A community who believes it is better to give than to get

Where are my brothers and sisters who ache for peace

In a world of war

Not hidden away disguised as pious behind closed doors

I search but only find faith built from on walls of religion

That choke and bind

My GOD, My GOD I know you are LOVE

Yet we your creation

Worship the created

I am mortified by my weaknesses of excess

When I have never had less than your best.

When I chance to meet someone of kindred spirit

I want to hang on to the moments we share

Before they are no longer there.

Where are my people

I know they are out there


Who prefer LOVE over lust

Giving over greed

Humility over Pride

Ego Crushing over self important righteousness

Faith over fear

Compassion over fanaticism

Joy over bitterness

Forgiveness over revenge

Hope over despair

Praise over disdain

Family over enemies

Encouragement over condemnation

Where are your people

my brothers, my sisters

my father, my mother.

For my writing community:

Saturday Evening Post has begun their 2014 fiction contest:

They also buy limerick’s based on an illustration for 25.00

Being able to connect with other writers through Writers of Kern has been motivating for me and has helped me rise to the blog challenge of posting twice a week. But because of the many needs of my family I have not been able to join or attend a critique group. So I would like to invite two or three other fiction writers to join with me in a private online critique group, where we share by email. I would like them to be within the Kern County area so that at times convenient for all we can meet together occasionally,  but for the most part our sharing would be primarily online. If interested please email me and we can create our own personal huddle and cheer each other on the road to publication.


Author: iola reneau

I am a writer and sometimes author.

4 thoughts on “Community~Challenged”

  1. You are salt and light my friend. Never hide who you are beneath a bowl. I love everything about you. You are perfect just as you are.

  2. Looking for your people? You’ve found them at Writers of Kern!

    Psychologist William Glasser teaches that there are five basic needs we all are trying to meet. One of them is Love & Belonging. Community is one place where we can get that need met. When I read your post, I could see that you and I have many community-seeking behaviors in common. I will talk to perfect strangers, too, speaking to them in stores, on streets, wherever. And, don’t let them look questioning, sad, or down-hearted; they are getting a ‘dose of Annis’. I feel that it’s part of my mission to ‘perk up’ the world.

    Hello, kindred spirit.xoA

  3. I think the sense of community often gets lost in the modern day. In times past, people needed each other, literally, for survival. You couldn’t ignore a neighbor in need because you yourself might one day need assistance. Life was hard and people died far more easily than they do today. Communication was also an issue…where did you turn to for help BUT a neighbor? Today, we encourage people to pick up the phone for assistance, a regulated mandated assistance that has very few of the same connotations of community-caring that it used to. The paramedics come because they are paid to. The doctors treat you because they are paid to. Welfare is provided (to those who qualify) because the government requires it. While you might hope that the man in the paramedic’s uniform would still assist you if he weren’t being paid and while he might if you were bleeding out at his feet…you can never be sure. You can’t rely on his humanity because there’s been no test of it. You don’t know and can’t know whether or not your neighbor would let you starve in the street or not and I think, as a result, there’s always an underlying sense of uncertainty when dealing with people who aren’t intimately acquainted with you. And, sad to say, with the systems we have in place (and I like our modern day tech and our systems, don’t get me wrong), that sense of intimacy, of community, is discouraged. And now that I’ve rambled on for an eternity…because your post made me think which is a really cool thing…I’ll shut up now.

    Except for this, good luck on finding a critique group. I’m sure there will be other people in your shoes who would find on-line easier. I think WOK used to have one group meeting on-line? I’m not sure what happened to it or if it’s still going. 🙂

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