the wagenplatz stands on the edge of a knife

Every couple of years the university, which owns the land on which our community stands, comes along and starts making threats.  We have to leave, they say.  They need this parcel of land, they say.  But it has never panned out.  Bluffs?  Maybe.  At least a couple of times the money for their proposed project has run out.  And once about four years ago, just when I was moving in, they relocated half of our Wagenplatz to a plot of land in the middle of a field about a kilometer away.  But this year they were serious. And it looks like we might be moving.

At the beginning most of the group was skeptical.  The uni had threatented so many times before, why should we get our panties in a bunch this time?  But after a number of meetings and negotiations we are working on a pre-contract for moving the Wagenplatz.  I don’t know exactly when, but it appears that sometime in the next year or so our community will be moving to a spot in the field next to what used to be our other half.  After over twenty years of successful squatting of this parcel of land we will be entering into a much more rigid (it is assumed) agreement with the university about our rent, about what we can and cannot do with out little piece of green.  What will happen to Haus Mainusch is still uncertain.

One of the biggest issues is that the land they want to move us to is not green at all.  Currently a field, it will take years before any trees grow big enough to provide any shade.  The first spring we’ll be living in a puddle of mud.  A windy, shadeless frying pan.  It was one of the reasons that a lot of people were (are) so adverse to the offer in the first place.

Yet I find myself looking forward to it.  I’ve always found change cleansing in that “new start” sort of way.  I was one of the few who was ok with the idea of moving from the beginning, and I’m glad that we are being offered a replacement parcel of land, that the Beard and I won’t have to leave entirely because I wouldn’t feel comfortable living with Baby Pickles with the threat of eviction hanging over our heads.  Police have compacted people’s Wagens right before their eyes in the past.  I don’t know if I am strong enough to handle that kind of wait-it-out situation alone, but I am not strong enough to handle it with a baby in tow.  Nor do I want to be.  So there’s that.

But when I think of leaving this parcel of land, of the university building yet another one of their borg-ship constructions on it, I feel sad.  We can move. but what about the snails, the birds, the hedgehogs?  They won’t be offered a new parcel of land, and whoever survives will be forced to squeeze into the ever decreasing bits of greenery.  When we move, I will mourn the walnut tree who has taken so many years to reach such majesty, whose fruits have fed us, could feed us in an emergency, and which they will cut down as if it was just a bowling pin to be struck down in sporting whim.


0 Comments on “the wagenplatz stands on the edge of a knife

  1. I heard about it and saw the writtings hanging outside the Wagenplatz. It´s sad and if it really then happens I will miss seeing that bit of green in the middle of so many buildings. Hope all works out and if you guys need help with something just ask.
    All the best!

  2. Change afoot. Maybe you could remind the uni that there’s a recession on and they might be best hanging on to their money for a bit longer. 😉

  3. Is there anyway to throw some ground-cover seeds down on the field now? I really hate spring mud.

  4. I got a little teary-eyed reading the bit about the walnut tree. I know what you mean, about trees’ grand accomplishments in becoming so tall, so majestic, so regal, and then bam, one day they’re gone. When I was growing up we had a giant weeping willow, it must have been 60 feet tall. Thing was huge. One day a huge bolt of lightning took it down. It blocked the way off our property and crushed a car to smithereens. We were awestruck, shocked, and sad all at once. It took days for us and neighbors to cut it up with chainsaws to the point where we could use our driveway again.

    Sending lots of love and well-wishes to your community. I hope whatever happens ends up being positive for you all.

  5. So sad! Especially having visited the frying pan myself, I can only imagine how god awful that is going to be in summer with no trees.

  6. Rute: Thanks for the offer!

    Fiona: Seems to me that as soon as a recession is on people start up ten thousand building projects. I hear it’s supposed to create jobs that then end the recession? As you can see I am not an economist.

    Mary W: The field is currently still in use by farmers that the uni rents it to. The move would take place in one to two years. Good call, if the farmers stop using that bit of land long enough beforehand. My hopes aren’t high though.

    Emily: Sad about your willow. Though I have to say that for some reason I am less stricken by trees knocked out by lighting (though I still find it sad) than I am by human projects that are really just unnecessary.

    Fishie: Yeah, it’s hot there. Especially under a metal roof.

  7. Totally agree that human destruction is much worse and more sad than lightning/other natural destruction. I should have said that we were so sad when even the natural forces took our willow– I can’t imagine how much that would be amplified if someone had come and chopped it down for either no reason or for economic, personal gain.

  8. sorry you guys have to lose the physical community you’ve built but the actual community will thrive wherever you guys relocate. good luck:)

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