A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical.
Aldo Leopold ~ A Sand County Almanac
There were a few foundational tenets upon which the commune’s doctrine was based.
- We are living in the end times.
- We must forsake the world.
- We should have all things common.
The End Times
I was familiar with the two main events of the end times – the Apocalypse – having been schooled by Barry McGuire (“Eve of Destruction” 1965) and Larry Norman (“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” 1972.) The tribulation and the rapture were bearing down upon the human race, and there was no getting around it. Christians have always disagreed on whether the rapture occurs before the tribulation, during the tribulation, or after. I was not all that keen on the tribulation, so I was more of a pre-trib; that’s what I was rooting for. Who wants to go through the tribulation if they don’t have to? However, since I “plan for what is difficult while it is still easy” (SunTzu), I was ready with my crochet. Yes, the world might fall in ruins around me, but I would rebel against it with my hook and my yarn.
The Bible teaches us to “occupy until I come.” (Luke 19:13), so even if an army of zombies are on the move, I will crochet in my hidey-hole – it will give me something to do as I pass the time.
Note to self: What is it with zombies, anyway? If they had any brains, they would not go around eating other people’s brains and making more zombies. It only diminishes the food supply. If they were patient and waited a bit, they would have all the brains they want as people are forever discarding them in favor of television. Zombies have no sense of delayed gratification.
With the Rapture and the Tribulation hanging over our heads, it only made sense to forsake all and have all things common – up to a point. There are some things that I made exceptions to the rule.
One was The Green Dress. The sisters knew by instinct that the Green Dress belonged to Sister Hanna, but we all tried to wear it anyway ‘cause it was so cool. I discovered that the best way to snag the Green Dress was to be on laundry duty. I often was because (a) I had a valid driver’s license, and (b) I knew how to drive a stick shift thanks to Doug’s driving lessons.
On laundry duty, one got the first pick of the clean clothes, including the Green Dress. I didn’t get the Green Dress very often because, as I said, competition was fierce, but when I did, I felt very cool in a godly sort of way. I was tempted to squirrel away the dress in my sleeping bag, but then I would be hoarding, and I knew what happened to hoarders: their hoard “bred worms and stank.” (Exo. 16:20) This, by the way, is a good description of the laundry after a few days fermenting in the Fresno heat.
I was not too fussed about not wearing the Green Dress, since I couldn’t get it anyway; however, the Green Notebook was another matter. I got this green notebook, a three-ring binder, from someone at Campus Crusade in Durango. I brought it with me to Fresno, and no one was going to make it common. It was mine.
Unfortunately, another unspoken rule of the commune is you don’t ever leave any of your things unattended. Any item without its owner nearby is considered homeless, and you know what Jesus said about the homeless – you take them in. Once I left the Green Notebook somewhere in the main house. When I discovered it was not with my stuff, I left my ninety-nine in the wilderness in search of my lost sheep. (Luke 15:4). I found my little lamb in the hands of The Captain.
Me: God bless you, brother. Nice binder. Where did you get it?
Captain: I found it here in the living room.
Me: Oh, really? I have a little green binder just like that. I accidentally left it here in the living room.
Me: I really like that binder; I brought it with me from Durango. It means a lot to me. I really like that binder.
Captain: You know, the Bible says we have all things common.
Me: Well…I’d really like that binder.
The Captain’s face told me he was very annoyed that my covetousness was stronger that his. He shoved the binder at me; I grabbed it and hurried out of the room. No doubt, the Captain thought me very materialistic and worldly, but I didn’t care. There are some things I would rather be now and ask God’s forgiveness for later. Being materialistic and worldly about my green notebook is one of them; the other is the ceramic mug that Miss James gave me. (I still have both items fifty years later – God must be okay with it.)
Taking up Crochet
As I said, it’s a lot to navigate – the end times, the Apocalypse with the Tribulation and the Rapture (or is it Rapture and Tribulation?), as well as all the minor trials and mini-tribs that occur on a daily basis when you stuff sixty hippies in three houses. One has to stake a claim for oneself; one has to rebel against the radicals. One learns to crochet during the Apocalypse.