Maeve, 30, grew up in Far Rockaway Queens, NY. Her mother is a high school chemistry teacher and her father an often out of work carpenter. She was bullied as a kid, fought bitterly with her older sister, and spent most of her time with her little brother. When she was expelled from her local high school, she transferred to the affluent high school in nearby Belle Harbor where her mother taught. This put a strain on their relationship because Maeve continued to get into trouble and started dressing goth to frighten and distance herself further from her suburban classmates. She had a moment of devout Christianity that came to an end when she dated a girl briefly at age fifteen.
She studied physics at City College in part to be like her mother, and although she was a good student and naturally talented in science, she became distracted by the art scene and nightlife. After taking a few years off and having several odd jobs, she finally finished school and began working in a lab. She found that she was more interested in making her own clothes and putting on amateur fashion shows. On a whim she applied to the fashion design program at the Art Institute of Chicago and got in with a full scholarship. Her parents were not supportive of her decision to pursue fashion or her decision to move away which was unheard of in their community.
She felt guilty about her choice but also felt incredible freedom living in a new city and being given the opportunity to be an artist. She loved her new field but again found herself at odds with her classmates. She had an affair with one of her professors and when rumors spread among the students, she became completely isolated. The ensuing drama and her professor's increasing possessiveness led her to move to the commune.
The commune was good for Maeve. She loved the countryside, working in the garden, and the food. Working with her hands was relaxing and doing carpentry made her feel close to her father. Overall she found the people to be hypocritical and strange - manipulative and even mean-spirited underneath their sweet and enlightened demeanor. However with a few of the others she gradually let down her guard and was able to connect and finally make some close friends. After her friends left the commune and Maeve had she some of her hardened exterior, she returned to Chicago to finish her graduate program.
Maeve talking on the phone:
Maeve getting ready for a night out on the town:
Marty is a twenty-eight-year-old aspiring writer. She went to college for literature but dropped out of school because she plagiarized part of her thesis. She moved back home with her dad, returned to her high-school job and continued to write at night.
Marty is oblivious of her appearance and wears clothes that do not fit correctly. "Comfort over fashion" is her motto, but it is really because of sheer laziness that she is unkempt. Marty is a bit of a hypochondriac and picks at herself constantly.
Marty's mother moved to Europe when she was nine and she's been with her dad and sister ever since. Her sister Kim is younger but is much more mature. She is married and has a child. Kim worries about Marty and her constant nagging eventually leads Marty to join the intentional community. Marty believes the community will be a retreat where she will have all the time she needs to work on her writing. She is sorely disappointed when she realizes how demanding communal life is. Over the course of several months, Marty develops a bad blister on her toe. She doesn't tell anyone and it grows more and more infected. Eventually she has to leave the commune because she develops a staph infection.
Marty Makes Coffee, (prior to joining Twin Oaks)
Special thanks to: Isis Aquarian, Source Family Archives for permission to use the Source Family video clip.www.yahowha.org
Johanna was born into a family with an aristocratic background and grew up in a beautiful mansion in the Northwest German countryside. Johanna's father was a judge and mother the president of an organization for the conservation of heritage-protected buildings and parks. Johanna had all of her material needs met but the pressure to live up the family standards caused her great stress.
Johanna attended boarding school in Southern Germany. While her classmates were experimenting with sex and substances, Johanna was a "good girl". She focused on her studies, excelled at riding and playing the flute. She was also an active member of Amnesty International.
Johanna dreamt of being a countryside veterinarian or organic farmer, but because of familial pressures, she decided to study international law in Cambridge. After school she worked for a non-profit organization in Dusseldorf where she started dating Justus, a colleague at the law firm.
Justus was the opposite of Johanna, free-spirited, self-confident, charming and uncompormising. Johanna, scared of her feelings for Justus, broke off the relationship and escaped having to deal with the emotional consequences by moving to Twin Oaks.
Johanna hanging out at a campfire at Twin Oaks: