Magazine cover for "common ground," December 2009 issue, featuring an artistic silhouette of a person against a golden moon background, with text about various articles and features.

December 2009 / January 2010

More Milestones.
More Gratitude.

Last month we dedicated the issue to commemorating the 35th anniversary of Common Ground. Now we’re looking at the holidays, a new year, and a new decade — all milestones. Having been a history major, appreciation of the past and attention to milestones have become part of my nature. Intellectually, I enjoy observing the ephemeral trends of popular culture. From a deeper personal place, I yearn more for the eternal — that intangible that binds us. This intangible has been given many names,
but at the end of a circuitous year and a tumultuous decade (and after a series of issues as the owner of Common Ground), it is best expressed as gratitude.

We’re fortunate to live during interesting times in a very interesting nook of the universe. We’re fortunate to publish a modest — yet soulful — community publication with which we integrate, participate, and communicate around shared ideals. And hopefully not take ourselves too seriously!

The 35th-anniversary party we threw last month, as the official after-party of the Green Festival, was a memorable success, a sweet milestone to be sure. Many said it was one of the best parties they’d ever attended. In recent
years we’ve been building a groovy little reputation for throwing an impressive bash around the Green Fest, but there seems to be confirmation that this past iteration raised the bar a bit higher. One thing is certain: It was entirely unique.

Upstairs there was the big stage with the likes of Delhi 2 Dublin, a group that magically combines traditional Sikh bhangra music from the Punjabi farmlands with classic Celtic folk (fiddles and all) and a splash of spoken-word reggae rap. It was thumping but in a positive, corners-of-the-mouth-raised kind of way. In a separate area, there were sophisticated DJs generating a fun dance vibe where many of our sponsors comingled in their booths with delighted guests.

And on yet another floor, in the Hookahdome-decorated chill space, the love was permeating via delicious food and drinks (thank you again, dear sponsors) as well as from the deep hearts of our invited kirtan performers (Mukti, Jaya Lakshmi, and Gaura Vani), who engaged all. A delectable East-meets-West stew with human interaction and intimacy as the main ingredients.

Andy Alpine, the founder of Common Ground, was aglow. It was a moment to relish as he spoke of the magazine’s roots and permutations. He declared his happiness with the publication’s recent turn and beamed like a proud papa. Everyone at the party felt like a VIP, and they were.

Enough looking back … now we march forward. Into a new year and a new decade. As ever, they are fraught with both peril and opportunity. This being a combined December-January issue, the next issue, February, will be themed around Valentine’s Day, and love and (sacred) sex … always a popular subject. March is the Food and Family issue. April is the Green issue commemorating Earth Day.

Of course we pray that current advertisers make all the right connections, and we hope to attract new ones. It’s the only way free magazines justify their next milestone.

Many blessings and happy holidays,


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