Another Approach

A Possible Next evolution of Monhegan Commons

When announced that my involvement in Monhegan Commons was coming to an end, I received a lot of lovely notes of what a fine thing it was and what a wonderful job I had done….but not a long lineup of volunteers to take it over.  Actually not a one.  Shy?

Another approach…..Below is how I wanted to fashion MC…..(from About…a statement of purpose)

Monhegan is not just an Island twelve miles off the coast of Maine. There are as many Monhegans as there are minds and hearts that can conceive of it. Monhegan Commons is in search for the essence of Monhegan. Monhegan can be described, only in part, but never defined.   While the site centers on an Island, it really is about the sharing of subjective experiences for the purpose of enriching our own  experience as well as the building of community… a community of individuals who are sharing a commons …  the Monhegan Island that exists not 12 miles off the coast of Maine but the one that resides within our minds, hearts, and imagination.  For, as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Fox explains to the Little Prince: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

So then, what Monhegan is in your heart?  This is a commons after all.  This Monhegan belongs to us all.  Tell us of yours and enrich it with ours.

Literally, what is the essence of YOUR  Monhegan?  Granted, words (language) do not always deal with “essence” well…. unless you are a poet.  So…. express it in art, photography, dance, music, meditation, whatever…. and do it for all of us that the essence of OUR Monhegan might glow anew, brighter, wider.  Let’s see where this goes..


9 thoughts on “Another Approach

  1. Well, I also hoped someone or a group would come forward to take the weight off your shoulders.
    Maybe if I explain the technical part of managing a site like this:
    This is all done with WordPress, a blogging and content-management system that makes it easy to write something, upload a picture, publish whatever you want. It does not require great technical skill. That’s what I’m here for and (assuming this continues along current lines, ie blissfully free of the profit motive) I’d be glad to continue as tech support and teacher.
    What it does require is someone with an affinity for Monhegan, ideally someone who lives there at least part of the year. But it could also be an “editor” who knows people who live there and could supply content.
    Content is the key. Peter’s pictures have been great but I’ve also always loved when someone else contributes. I’d like to see not an abrupt change but a few people gradually contributing a bit here and a bit here until Peter can relax completely.
    The alternative, I have to say, is that the site be offered to a commercial entity (boat line, hotel, etc.) in an attempt to make a few pennies for the effort put in over the years.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, “” is a very valuable entity for anyone who wants to reach people Googling “monhegan”. Not just because it’s the name but also because it has a long track record with Google.
    (And yes, I know this doesn’t really answer Peter’s question. If you don’t know the answer to a question, give the answer to a question you do know.)

  2. Jim and Peter…after nursing my ailing and dinosaur of a computer for 11 ? years now…I am supposedly getting a new one within the next several weeks…..that being the case I will be contacting you Jim with requests for advice on the technical aspects and procedures to help with the site ……
    I cannot even say at this time how much time I will be able to spend, the desire is great to spend a great deal of time, but the reality of “life ” and commitments, etc. may prove the time spent less than desired..I am in for the long haul…

    ..I will be doing what I can…

    I am sorry to have been silent so long here with my thoughts about what I feel I can contribute…not intentional, life just happens here and I am caught up in it….

    I know that for about 30 years now I have had “the fire” and “passion” for the well being of the Monhegan community, and in turn also for the Commons as we know it….Best to All….R A

  3. Yes, but….It seems to me that loving the island (as I and many others do) does not necessarily qualify one to do the job you did, Peter. As Jim suggests, whoever takes over the Commons should ideally live on the island for at least part of the year. For those of us who visit for a week or two each summer, well, we hardly have the qualifications of someone like you, Peter, who lived there for 30+ years. And if you don’t know any of the year-round residents, it’s nearly impossible to furnish content. And then there is the technical part which Jim claims isn’t too difficult, but probably is still a challenge. Not sure about offering the site to a commercial entity. I somehow think the site would change entirely if it went in that direction. But like Jim, I don’t claim to have the answer.

    1. “Not sure about offering the site to a commercial entity. I somehow think the site would change entirely if it went in that direction. ”

      Absolutely. But what’s the alternative? It’s time for someone to step up with passion and energy.

      Otherwise, I’d advocate selling to the highest bidder.

  4. Just a thought. What if a partnership of two or three people are responsible for certain weeks of the month? I was thinking of the Mt. Washington website and those who are there contribute their experiences et al on the summit. You could have a year rounder, a summer person and someone who visits every year. We would get different perspectives and the sharing of poetry, art and photos could go on. It seems that year rounders may be put off on sharing the Island life….. I could be wrong. They do want to protect their privacy and I understand that. We would not want every day life to become a spectacle for us “visitors” or summer people.

  5. Compared to the years when Peter was living on the Island, the photos were current (or seemed to be) new poems were being submitted fairly often and the Rope Shed was a lively forum, Monhegan Commons is a ghost of itself. It is Peter’s creation, supported by
    visitors. Year-round and all-summer residents have never been a presence or a voice
    here. I think it should be allowed a graceful exit. As Sally Woolf-Wade says in her poem, “Lady on the Boat with Flowers, “There is no decent word for good-bye.” Take one
    last look and sail away.

    1. Agreed. Or another poet:
      This thous perceiv’st that makes thy love more strong
      to love that well which thou must leave ere long.

      or another:
      Nothing gold can stay

  6. I am not happy about the thought of the commons falling by the wayside… I am one of those only-a-visitor, but a visitor who loves Monhegan. I like the idea of sharing responsibilities on a rotating schedule; oh, but there would be a learning curve. I can certainly also post pictures that I take while on Monhegan each year. I think the rope shed is a great way for info to be transmitted and questions to be answered. But, I am still only a visitor.

  7. SO it bears to ask the question: what happened? years past and this site was a flurry of activity. Does anyone who used to comment frequently want to answer that question? I can remember the ongoing discussions long and even longer. What happened?

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