[My original posting of this story had some details incorrect about the specifics of the accident which have now been corrected.]
There are definitely things which happen differently on the commune than they do in the mainstream. This is in part because there are some fairly extraordinary persons living here, one of whom is my dearest friend Shal.
Yesterday night Shal was walking out of the wood shop at night and someone had left a half done project with a 3′ x 3′ piece of sheet metal leaning against a 2′ metal box in the regular path of walking, which was obscured in the darkness outside the shop. Shal walked into the sheet metal, fell and his chin/throat was caught by the top of sheet metal jutting up from the box, cutting him. He spent half the night in the emergency room. Very fortunately the cut did not sever any nerves, arteries, or even veins; so no serious damage. It could easily have been far worse.
When i saw Shal he was clear in his upset. It was not directed at the irresponsible member who left these dangerous object around. Instead he was upset with our culture which permits this type of on-going hazard. He is very pragmatic in his emotional expression. He wants to channel his upset into useful action and he has an action plan. He is going to go to the wood shop every night and make sure this path is free from these types of dangerous obstructions.
Shal was clear that this person is not the problem despite that their action nearly very seriously injured Shal. In this sense his anger was oddly indirect. He intentionally never named the person who was at fault, he was clear that he did not want their mistake to be punished in anyway, even by damaging their reputation.
And i cant help but think, in this strange way, Shal has a lesson for all of us.