On the PC idea/language of “Invisible Structures” while I absolutely support the design recognition of these ‘socio-cultural sectors’, I must admit that from an etymological/linguistic/meme perspective I think you get what you say – which often is the continued invisibility of the very behaviors that the PC movement is so valiantly striving to daylight or make transparent as drivers of good design. Need a new word?
It is all “visible” structures, if you will, – it is just that some folks are more pattern literate or experienced with interpersonal and social processes, like some can read the seemingly invisible history of a landscape by it’s morphology and vegetation. We are explicitly clear & proactive in our PDC curriculum to educate on reading the social process landscape as a core design tool for PC students.
I have often stated that the greatest epidemic we collectively face on this planet today is Eco-logical Illiteracy. And yet more and more, for myself, I have come to realize that at the core what most limits our responding to this grave (as in heading towards the grave) epidemic is actually Ego-Illogical Illiteracy!
Issues with Zone Zero intra-personal management skills or lack thereof appear to be a critical microcosm of our larger collective challenge of societal zonation design with our grand time-motion experiment. Where do you place the elements of your social focus of intensive vs. extensive effort in the realm of relationships? How often do you visit/cultivate certain relations and what level of tending do you exert there and with what frequency? Maybe all the family visiting with the inlaws during the HolyDaze has got me pondering such things??
Living for the past 13+ years on co-owned/shared land in the Sowing Circle intentional community of 14 folks and running the non-profit collective business OAEC (with 50 folks on payroll), where in both cases, all significant decisions are made via a consensus based process - has led me to be clear that this “invisible” community-maintaining work is the most Permacultural thing I do with my life and we do with our organization - as it functionality enables our pragmatic Permaculture platform the capacity to manifest (and womanifest) all that we actualize here in the so-called Permaculture “visible” realm.
Permaculture as StorySeller??
Seems to me one of the most powerful aspects of Permaculture is our storyline and myriad cast of gifted storytellers spinning responsive tales of the fast approaching future. What is the story that holds power for you? Is the Planet a community or commodity? What creation myth holds power for the Permaculture community? And can we
Re-Story our relationship with ourselves to motivate the real regenerative work of the day that must first and foremost begin with the ReStoryation of our Ego-Systems towards collaborative and efficacious right relations with living systems and natural cycles?
All other members in the Community of Life await our ability to permaculturally put our Multi-Storyied Ego-System vision forward in a manner that restores our “invisible” selves simultaneously with our “visible” self, as we are all but interconnected expressions of our living Planet Water!