The Whole Love (On Communities)


The Whole Love (On Communities)

Nick Konow

If you think you know what I am writing about or who I am writing about, you don’t.

If you think my conceit is to make clearer my message or to convince in any way, it’s not.

I’m  just digging through the dirt, man….


I don’t believe in community.

I don’t believe in culture.

Relating to others on ever thinning threads of what it means to relate…

Our practices of expression, Our political affiliations, Our choices in ice cream. Our town. Our team. Our online platforms. All of it a shoe string on a cheap pair of feiyues.

This is not a ruffling of feathers.

There are too many feathers to ruffle.

It would not work do so.


Our communities don’t bother with anything that is not a congratulations of some kind, or demonstrated as something of value by those leading the ranks in these communities: the all knowing, hastily and devotionally chosen leaders.

Blessed, though they be.

We subscribe to these communities to feel apart.

It’s not community. It’s not culture. But we call it that.

We believe it. We believe in it.

Best intentions, often misleading, like our hearts beating.

A collective group hug, stripped of intimacy, turned to fiery circles of folks facing outward, dancing a devilish dirge, screaming at those who would challenge our fiery ring.

Our communities serving as defense from some perceived threat of that which would otherwise destroy us.


These perceived threats:

nebulous somethings….

Uninformed about, unfamiliar with, we communal subjects feel that informing ourselves with this unfamiliar “something” would undercut the very principles we prescribed as glue to hold up and sustain our magnificent and loving group.

Better to lash out, we think.

Better to preach reasoning and respectful debate, while not entering into anything that resembles reason nor respect.

Our sense of respect is: Don’t hurt my feelings, man.


We are children.

Not in a numbers sense of the word, but in the sense that our collective emotional maturity is that of a child’s. This manifests in 20 year olds and 40 years olds, alike.

This isn’t about ageism.

It has a lot to do with skin, I think.

Our thin skin exposes our ego, strips us of humor and leaves us offended at anything and everything.

Our community becoming second skin.

Ultimately, a ditch to hide inside of, while we wait for the hurt to stop.


We share stories that have no thread, we agree on everything, we are careful not to offend one another.

We are boring.

We think life is sad because everybody else is so mean, but WE are mean.

Yes, you are mean.

You are an empty construct.

Teaching the world a lesson about love filtered through your positive vibes, for if you were to take a good look at your hate you would crumble at your ugliness.

All you know is beauty and so you don’t know beauty at all.

You bully the bullies. You uninvite the uninvitables. All from the safety of hands holding tightly.

One voice, one love, one Facebook page serving our soapbox.

And, you’re not welcome.


I love you, man!

Your community makes me sick.

As if saying “I love you” ain’t easy.

As if love as currency were some kind of solution for anything?

For show me what your love will do when your love is challenged?

It will spit back, close ears, and shut out these opposing forces.

This is what the community will call: holding the “other” accountable.



When you disagree with these terms, you are unaccountable.

Community hates disagreement.

Thems the rules.

It’s not community. It’s not culture. But we call it that.

Does a community exist without these terms?



These are the communities we don’t read about, without reputation.

They are not on trend and they are not fighting what’s on trend, and so we don’t notice them and so we don’t care.

These communities are lead by altruism.

Altruism is not on trend.

And, altruism is not love.

Not our pack mentality, contemporary concept of love…

Love,  or else.

Kindness, or else.

Respect, or else.

Answer to the jury, or else.


It’s not that I don’t crave community, it’s that the conditional qualities that make up today’s communities offer no real sense of the whole love.

The whole love is cantankerous.

The whole love disrupts.

The whole love questions, often disrespectfully, with snark, derision and ridicule.

The whole love is hurting and often not kind.

The whole love displaces itself, hides away, burns down the house and asks you to love it back anyway.


Are you in and of community?

Are you apart of it or away from it?

In which communities do you find yourself?



These questions don’t cut it.

Are you the whole of it? For better or worse? Freckles and all?

Are you the whole love?

Freckles and all,



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