This blog entry about communities starts off with my take on Anglo-Saxon words. This isn't the first time I've spoken of Anglo-Saxon based words in contrast to Latin-based words.

In general, Anglo-Saxon based words are short, to the point, and are more grounded, simpler, more tangible, more earthy, more homey, more from the heart, words more from the gut.  They are often single-syllable words.

Certainly, I favor Anglo-Saxon words. They are more meaningful to me. This is supposed to be true of everyone (in the English language,) although I don't exactly  know why this is so.

Home has to be Anglo-Saxon.  Residence would be Latin-based. Guts has to be Anglo Saxon. I'm not sure what the Latin-based word would be, intestines maybe. Dog/canine. Come/arrive. Ask/inquire.

Some Latinate words that I use don't have full meaning for me. What I am thinking of right now is the word community. I probably first knew the word as in Community Center, but never did catch on fully to the meaning of the word community itself.  I'm sure I've used the word appropriately, yet the emotional meaning has never been there for me. Heavenletters™ has a Spiritual Community Forum yet, as I said, the word isn't one I've been able to fully grasp very well in my heart.

In my quick research, I could not find an Anglo-Saxon corollary of the word community. Club, group, team don't really do it for me.

Okay, so Anglo-Saxon words are more real for me. Please know that all this is leading up to something.

I found the following in Write Vibrant Fiction and Choose the Right Word :

When writing fiction, I always choose Anglo Saxon based words. They are vivid and vibrant and ignite the reader's imagination and feelings. As a... general rule, words derived from the Germanic ancestors of English are shorter, more concrete and more direct, whereas their Latinate counterparts are longer, more abstract and are regarded as more elegant or educated. Such synonyms usually have a slightly different meaning, enabling the English language to be used in a very flexible way to express fine variations or shades of thought.

Anglo Saxon words are visual and direct. Anglo Saxon words have an immediacy and vibrancy that draws pictures in the reader’s head and engages him or her in the story. They evoke an emotional response in the reader. Anglo Saxon is the language of storytelling as it creates pictures in the reader’s mind, and involves their emotions. to Write Exciting Fiction: Use Anglo Saxon Based Words When Writing Fiction |

Now, as you know, Heaven Admin is working on starting a network called  Communi-Tree that I am excited about, a network of sustainable, spiritual, green communities of like-minded people.

It was on New Year's Eve and Day this year (2012) that, through a blog, I got closer to what a sense of  community means.

This blog is about what seems to happen naturally around Heaven Admin.

Without anyone’s telling anyone what to do, everyone cut up vegetables or did something they thought of. This was beautiful to see and beautiful to be part of. Cleaning up was a cinch. No effort at all when it’s split five ways without anyone’s asking or assigning. So naturally, in a short time, the small group of us had, indeed, become a community.

Kudos to Heaven Admin for his relaxed state and for having such great friends.

From what I'm beginning to understand, a community is where there are friends who take initiative around a certain goal that matters to them and yet are relaxed about.

So here is my discovery:

We have a real-life community within Heavenletters™. I am thinking of how how so many Heavenreaders arise to the occasion. They arise. They appoint themselves. This is true of all the translators. The examples are endless. Here are just two:

Luus van Leeuwen,  Dutch translator, translates a Heavenletter every single day. Even when she came down with the flu, she translated. But, not only does she translate, she takes it upon herself to note when a title I choose for a Heavenletter has already been used and lets me know.  She saw a need and filled it, and, so, Luus just effortlessly glided herself into preventing titles from being used twice.

George Monta on the forum responds to posts other people make, and makes sure to respond to people who are posting for the first time. Beautiful.

These two friends of Heavenletters saw a need and filled the need without anyone's assigning it to them.

A community is where people show consideration and take initiative.

A well-working family would be a community.

I believe, when I taught school, my classes became communities.

And the groups of people who constitute Heavenletters™ are a natural community whose common goal is to grow closer to God and who pitch in to make Heavenletters™ accessible and nice for others as well.

I very much like being a part of this community.


Join the conversation

Dear Gloria, you really give me too much credit for we translate ahead and always have about 20 Heavenletters in reserve. So when I'm ill or too busy I need not translate every single day. I could even take a vacation of nearly 3 weeks!

Anyway, my greatest joy is to serve and this is what I do.

Yes, dear Luus, we all do the same. And sometimes I even put pressure on Gloria to deliver before she even has time to submit her Heavenletters to the imprimatur of Theophil! Real life business even for Heavenletters!

Oups Luus, how can you have 20 Heavenletters in reserve? What is your secret receipe? I cannot have more than 9 in reserve...

Dear Normand, maybe you only have 9 because you don't need to translate every day. How do you get the Heavenletters? Don't you have the link to the queue? If not, I'll send it to you by email.

You're right Luus, I don't need to translate everyday. There lies the difference 20-9=11
Simple arithmetics.

Beloved Luus and Normand, it's beautiful any way you do it!

Normand has the joy of being a strong part of a team of three. Chantal and Jean-Christophe share the translating of Heavenletters™ into French along with Normand.

You, Luus, go solo, like Paula in Italy, Engin in Turkey, Daniela in Croatia and many others.

You all go the extra mile.

A million thanks and blessings and lots of love,


In 1969 I arrived at a piece of land in Oregon where Life Magazine was in the process of shooting a cover story about "Youth Communes". I only intended to visit but ended up staying for twelve years, the last two living on the land all by myself, in some ways the best years of my life.

I never did like that word "commune" and still don't. It is halfway to "communism" in one direction and halfway to "communion" in the other. I never have come up with a replacement I really liked. Currently "intentional community" is used by many but that strikes me as stiff and awkward, like something a sociology professor came up with.

Maybe it is telling that there is no good word for whatever you call that group of hopefully like-minded people sharing life together. Those folks in Oregon referred to themselves as "The Family" but it was obvious to me at the time that this was overly optimistic. I just ended up calling the place where I lived Brushy Gulch, which was what it was called on the topographical map.

I have wanted to provide such a place of refuge on my own for the past thirty years but I still don't know what to call it. My wife refers to it disparagingly as "your commune", but thankfully doesn't do that very often. I guess "intentional community" works as well as anything if I have to explain to someone what I have in mind.

That name might be somewhat abstract and academic but the whole idea has taken a turn in that direction. The dream farm I found up north like it had been designed just for me was sold recently and the means of acquiring it or anything else is apparently disappearing as we speak.

Is common Anglo Saxon? Tree has to be Anglo Saxon. Common-Tree has a strong feel to it and deep meaning. Could communities within CommuniTree be referred to as common-trees?

Or Trees of Life. Perhaps a bit presumptuous. "Common" is Middle English from Latin by way of Old French. It can be traced back to Indo-European from where it shows up in Anglo-Saxon as gemaenscipe for community and in Sanskrit as methati for joins or meets. Neither of those seem particularly helpful here.

One, I love the idea of common-trees. You definitely have my vote.

Charles, I had no idea you were such an etymologist. Wow. Very interesting! And you spent twelve years living on the land. There's a lot I don't know about you, dear one!

Oh my, I'm not an etymologist, I have several big dictionaries and know how to poke around online. There sure are a bunch of words in common with common.

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