Continued from the Interview in Newsletter 08, February 2021

D I would say I have three drives. I think in this world there is a lack of harmony in three dimensions. In the relational dimension, let’s say the human to human relationships, but also in society, between rich and poor, between first and third world. This is disharmonic in a way.

At the same time, we have the imbalance between the human and the environment. We’re completely out of control of it. Because of us, we’re destroying the planet. And – 3rd point – a disharmony between the people and god, for those who believe in god, or let’s say the spiritual world.

I think, with the process of modernisation, we slowly, slowly lost these three things. Will we find an equilibrium, a balance, a harmony again?

So, when I move, when I go somewhere, I want to know: What are the alternatives along these three drives, three topics? And what can I do to improve the situation? How do we live together in a different way? Because we see, the nuclear family isn’t working anymore. For instance the volunteers from the 2000s I meet here, they don’t ask: “Where do your parents live?” But: “Do you live with your father or with your mother?” Because they take for granted that they divorced.

And you, Klara, what drives you – when you wake up and go to work?

K It’s not everyday that I wake up and have this drive. But I work on being nice to everyone. Also when they’re not in a good mood, to show people that there always is a friend. Try to live and show something that people can relate to.

Then maybe work a bit on the spiritual world, show that this is really not something far away. Treat nature in a certain way, so that you can see the beauty and maybe feel there is more behind it than what we see with our physical eyes. Also in general, really create something together with people you feel connected with.

I want to carry on with what we try to achieve here, because it is something that the world maybe needs now. Even if Michaelshof is so small and the world is so big, and the overall situation is not so good. Still we just need to start small and become bigger. And I think you start even smaller, with yourself, to try and fight with things you’re not so good with. To try and fight with your mistakes, to show them and overcome the identification with these mistakes, because your own personality, internally, I think is always good. Then you can try to help other people. First you improve yourself, then you can improve the outside.

You know a about Domenico’s life and work. How does that resonate with you?

K Well, I would love to see more examples of communities like he did. I think it’s so great that you travel around, you get to know so many people, that you can find out what you like. — And of course, I would also like to be from Italy, because I like Italy a lot. (Everybody laughs)

D You could be from northern Italy, yes! Also from your spirit and character you would be a good Italian. You would find yourself without any problem in Italy or Spain.

Domenico, with your impressive agenda and itinerary, which is so incredible, would there still be a thing you miss?

D Me, I miss roots. For me it’s actually not that easy, I am kind of a restless spirit, always move, always change, and sometimes it’s hard. The home of my parents isn’t a home for me anymore. But I’m missing that. I want to be rooted somewhere. That’s why I’m really interested in the Michaelshof life style. It’s a completely different way of growing up. I see so much energy in the people who were born here, you and others are so full of life, also you can live your relationships in a deeper way …

The people that come from big cities, like me, but also the Latin Americans, the other Europeans, we all struggle with relationships with other people, how to interact. Because we were born in a place with a lot of people but that don’t talk to each other. While you were born in a place with less people, with more nature and stuff, where things go deeper. And actually, sometimes travelling doesn’t need movement. You can travel by knowing a person deeply, by exploring five square kilometers, but knowing every corner, every insect … It sounds bigger, when you go to China, but sometimes, probably you need not go so far, to discover and to grow.

So, I envy you, I would have liked to grow up here.

K For me, I miss the world, but on the other side – also when I was younger and traveling a bit, I was so happy to come back and be here, to breathe, be myself. I never felt I need another place to be able to grow, to experience something. Like for going deeper into somebody or learn more about the things that come out of yourself. You experience such things precisely because you interact with your friends. And that is sometimes really beautiful, sometimes really annoying, but interesting still. Something that is only possible if you stay in one place.

Also I would live differently if I were convinced that I only have one life. What would be the use of lifelong learning? I think there is a future, and therefore, after death, I would like to leave differently. This for me has something to do with reincarnation: to make it better, to try and learn, to further develop the impulse of god, Christ. Like continuing what was already there in a modern way.

So you believe in making the world a better place? Is that what we’re here for?

D & K Yes. Definitely!

Domenico Villano (27) has developed a new visiting concept for people interested in the community and its way of life. He is the author of two books: L’utopia come pratica: alla scoperta di Ecovillaggi e Comunità Intenzionali (Utopia in practise. Discovering eco villages and intentional communities; available in Italian and in French; Amazon link) and Non con i miei soldi! ed. 2019: Manuale di autodifesa ed educazione critica alla finanza (Not with my money! Manual of self defense and critical education in finance; available in Italian; Amazon link)

Klara Roever (30) is gardener and volunteers’ instructor: She films, produces social media content and helps organising Michaelshof Community.

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