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Listen to the Silence
Published on December 11, 2023 by Heinz Robert

Dear supporters near and far
You probably have wondered what's going on with this project and I must report you that there is not so much happening in the past few months.
After Alversjö received a grant of 1.2 mio. SEK from Kulturbryggan (national culture fund) in June that is focused on building infrastructure for creativity, there was the idea to put some of the money in the renovation of the Moo (as the sheep barn was renamed). This led to a more professional planning and the need for architects to make drawings for a building necessary building permit.
We had a meeting with the municipality where they brought in some things that we have to consider and they also shared again the need for a proper grey and black water solution before we think about repurposing the buildings.
We need either new septic tanks (as the existing one's are older then 50 years) or build another alternative system that has been proven in other places and show over the coming years that it is working well.

In the planning process it showed also that there are two different groups of interest, one that wants to fulfill the need for a basic infrastructure that is also usable in the winter as fast as possible with the limited amount of the Kulturbryggan grant, and the other that wants to be creative even in this early stage and make the infrastructure art itself. This led to some tensions and misunderstanding and slowed down the process. Maybe a necessary slow-down where the focus is more on listening to each other then just doing what we know.

Right now it's rather silent in Alversjö. Some people go there from time to time and check if all the locks are on their place and everything is alright. The snow covers the land and the buildings and dampens the sounds of nature (pic by Edwin).

The last time I have been there mid of November we didn't have snow but it was already around 0 and frosty. With help of Henrikas who came from Olso I continued the decking of a pavilion that we started to build before this year's Borderland where it was used as The Listening Shrine. After making an advice process it was clear that people like it to stay, so we continued to make it a more permanent building. It's still not finished but not much is missing. It has to wait now until the snow and cold is gone.

What this gazebo will be used in the future we don't know. The people initiating this dream just want to make sure the basic structure is finished and safe. If someone later comes and makes something else out of it is the creative flow that many people would like to see on the land. It can stay a place where people enjoy the silence and listen to the sounds around and voices inside, it might become a tea house for a bed&breakfast in the Villa that's just besides, or someone might make walls and windows and make something totally different out of it. This is not in my power anymore. I might have opinions that I can share if someone asks but I am happy to let it go and enjoy the stream of creativity passing on.

As I see this gazebo somehow connected with the dream I had around the monastery I hope it's ok for you as supporter of the renovation that we use some of the funded money for this project. The works have been so far always connected with a retreat-like setting where we combine contemplation and the work, just as it would have been done with the monastery.
There is also new dates for monastic retreats in 2024 and I hope to some of you then in Alversjö. Check you calendar if you can come and plan your travels:
Monastic Spring retreat 22-28 April
Monastic Summer retreat 17-21 June
Monastic Fall retreat 16-20 Sept

Also check the Facebook page and our Discord server for other events on the land.

I wish you all a silent Christmas season and may the upcoming work and family dinners be filled with listening, understanding and forgiveness.

Kind regards
Heinz


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