Landing Cosmos

photo of a snowy egret landing on water

As a founder and one of the creators of Cosmos—with a lot of help from some friends (including my wife Kayla, who built this website, and multiple collaborators on various other aspects of the overall project)—I would like to begin communicating more openly and more frequently about what we are working on within Cosmos, the creative co-op which I/we have been nurturing since 2015, and which is now approaching the stage of “going public.”

Cosmos started out as a big idea, but it’s had to grow from seedling size to get to that beauteous phase in a life-cycle when long, lonely efforts begin to bear fruit. These have also been tumultuous years, on collective and personal levels—and progress has arrived fitfully. People and projects have come and gone, lines of thought, flights of possibility, initiated and abandoned. We’ve spent hundreds (collectively many thousands) of hours in Zoom meetings and forum conversations; much digital ink has been spilled.

Yet here we are approaching the northern-hemispheric spring equinox, with no abatement—rather, another cycle of intensification—to the world crisis, and lo… buds appear on the boughs, bird-calls and a chatter of squirrels fill the trees. Meanwhile, we have continued working on a few of those projects, and some relationships have deepened, and new ones are growing into the spaces cleared by natural differentiation (deaths, departures, and redefinitions of boundaries) and the following of soul-callings. 

And it occurs to me that for the last 7 years, I have been operating with the belief that Cosmos, the co-op, is something we would have to launch—like a boat or a spaceship is launched, with all the preparations made for the excitement of the lift-off and the danger of the voyage—and that when we finally launched (which to me meant: actually running as a co-op, with official membership and governance meetings, and all the activities of the co-op, the community, the publishing, happening simultaneously) then I could begin to relax, a big part of my job would be done. I could go back to just being a writer or a poet—another a member of the community on equal standing with any other.

Now I find myself coming to believe that that ship has already sailed. We left solid ground long ago, and even though we still need to complete our preparations—which means, concretely, writing our Constitution (including bylaws and membership agreements) and completing our financial due diligence (including copyright/licensing agreements and author contracts)—in truth, Cosmos has already constellated a whole beautiful star system, with the books we have coming out, all the great conversations taking place, and the deep commitment to artistic embodiment our members have shown day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, whether it’s to edit a journal, read epic poetry together, or work on our organizational mission and vision. It would seem our task now is, not to launch, but to land Cosmos. 

Landing Cosmos means to me: making the most of where we are, and where we’re probably going to be staying for a while in the chaotic order of things, digging in our roots and making more nourishing connections, where we can. It means “chopping wood and carrying water,” actually building the organizational systems and supports that could sustain a creative community, publishing venture, and educational initiative in the long run. This will take more time, but I am now accepting that we have already found our place, where the work must occur.

So here we go. Or, here I stay. First of all, I will stop ignoring this website and begin posting more updates that are public, yet also personal, as things come up. In other words, this is me talking, and these are not necessarily the official perspectives of Cosmos, the co-op, which will be written into our Constitution and other policy statements. I will also invite other members of Cosmos to use this blog to share their own ideas, stories, and insights from our work with Cosmos. I hope that we can use this blog to cooperatively develop our thinking, as we’ve done in the forum, but allowing more room for individual writing, in a bloggy format.

Let Cosmos be home many voices and many songs, and may all the songs, however discrete and distinctive, in the widest possible horizon, make one song, and may that one song sing to the limit-function of the universe, make zero howl and make the void weep! And may I open up the strange loop of my ears, and may the world open its meta-ears to hear your song, our collaborative songs, our secret joys and silent rages, our universal ideals made undefeated flesh, forged in realities bespeaking the unspeakable.

Next up…

Geoffreyjen, Doug, and I are meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, 8th of March) to continue working on elements of our Constitution, author contracts, and project planning. We are meeting weekly at 12 pm Mountain time; however, some weeks will alternate with study groups and community meetings. See the calendar for current info.

On Wednesday, the Synthesis of Yoga Practicum group meets via Zoom at 1 pm EST.

On Thursday, the Cosmos Web Circle meets to coordinate work on current website projects and our web infrastructure.

On Friday, the Metapsychosis / Untimely Books Editorial Crew meets at 11 am Mountain time—by invitation. We are looking for more editors, artists, and community leaders. If you would like to get involved with our adventures in publishing, please get in touch.

Thanks for reading!

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