The Inside Scoop: The Shape of Me

COUNTDOWN: T minus 7 days

I keep not being consistent. I started with the number of countdown days to Bilberries Blue Inaugural Microsummit and then I realised, I can’t count the weekends, and I started counting working days, and then I slip behind in my daily targets, and then I –

 

Work on a Saturday morning right out of bed.

 

I call this a Project Management True-up.

It means catch-up, or rebooting, or complex dynamic adaptation.

 

 

Friday June 29, 2019

3pm Concall to discuss Bilberries Blue, Food Forest Farm and Moonriver Lodge interstories became me on a Grab with Vincent on the way to 10 Square @ Orchard Central with two boxes of Art Teacher Stuff getting ready for Mirrors Before the Sun, an inclusive art workshop for children and youth, with a whole bunch of old memories of dreams of Landing Space and CharKOL in our 30s finding a new renewal and continuity in this new fire and re-commitment by the usual suspects of my life in our approaching 50s.

img_0092The Art Teacher Loading The Art Boxes onto the Boot of a Grabcar
Singapore, 2019

 

Vashima PoPs-up

img_0212Vashima meeting Leng for the first time
10 Square@Orchard Central

3ff3357c-3529-4dda-8eaf-09320f5f120d

Then Vashima PoPs up at the end of The Inclusive Art Workshop to work on the pedagogical documentation and I woke up being greeted by a video of Day 1 of Mirrors Before the Sun – The Inclusive Art Workshop. I don’t know what inclusive means anymore as for me, the state of existence already includes everyone, and it is by way of choice and composition that one calls a grouping of something this or that, and suddenly, the beautiful art-making of conceptual organisational ordering became for me, something the order of:

 

The Shape of me

Back to the story of the concall. I briefly gave a sketch of my plan, how I am behind by two days, and then parents and children started to arrive, and I am with my iPhone, my ear piece plugged in attending a video conference call between Singapore, Ipoh, KL and Schiedam, turning the camera away from my face to giving a visualisation of the space of 10 Square, greeted parents, settled the families into the art studio, and then whisked out my action cam and stuck it into my pocket, and trusting that the wide angled lens will record something fascinating, we rolled into action with the kids, parents and helpers to find everyone just lighting up, inside, outside (upside down) and there are no words for something like this.

 

The above is action prose poem, not.

 

But it does get exhilarating like this when I try to be a documentarian who is also in the action.

Vincent Unloading The Art Boxes
10 Square@Orchard Central Art Studio
Singapore, 2019

And I ask myself, why do I do this to myself? A part of it is Martin Seligman’s PERMA and this is what it takes for my personal eudaimonia to pop, but largely it is because, I am trying to see how things really work with people, and what are the circumstances and environment that bring joy and nurture that deep sense of connectedness and coming into one’s own.

 

The shape of me, I realise, is my body in space, that organism that is a physical human body, and then there is the mental me – which is my conception of me. There lies the identity of me. How I draw that map in the terrain of society is how I am relating, and how big or small or what shape I am is about this mental relational.

 

I think I am getting at structure.

At yesterday’s art workshop little 7 yo J built a 3d structure on his collage piece. And 12 yo K was thinking of how to glue a box of coloured pencils onto his piece after he decided to put a shoemark on the glue. And little 8 yo K layered her work, and 20 yo N carefully laid out her work and gave colours and shape to her emerging landscape piece, and 20yo A, moved his composition several times in maybe 10 different ways, belting out his rendition from Annie the musical, “Tomorrow! Tomorrow! The sun will come out tomorrow! I love ya tomorrow! It’s only a day away!”

img_0186

The shape of Hope looks like this. It was dynamically constructed, and the structure shifts even as the components discover. The form-making is dynamically adapting to the needs of the community of the space and the relationals of that microsociety. That complexity, when freed from a more structured pattern language of relating in a group, becomes the space of the unknown that many prefer they don’t have to navigate through, because it takes high energy to relate to fresh new relational data. And like everything new, it requires constant change, until a common ground is established. Yet as soon as a form coheres, it shifts.

 

Chronicles of a Semi-Liquid-Semi-Solid Occurences

I am reading “Chronicles of a Liquid Society” by Umberto Eco. I told Stefan about it and his response was, “At some stage, we would have to become solid.”

 

I am not sure. I think a human body is solid, but the human mind can grasp from the Big Bang to the black hole and represent space-time interdependencies on bobbles and charts, with very good Physics storyteaching by Brian Cox.

 

A Very Pulsating Walk from 10 Square

I said to Vashima at 7.30pm yesterday, while walking between 10 Square to the Somerset bus stop, with zero contact with my family (as my iPhone battery finally decided to go flat and I had no power bank backup), was that, “This time, I am going to rework my pattern language so that I don’t burnout. That means creating my personal generative code.”

And I said to her, the difference now is that I let it go. I let go my plan. I would still make the plan to frame, but I would need to do dynamic true-ups as I am living the plan, which actually isn’t the plan anymore but action research. But actually, the research becomes a dynamic reflective practice and I become a practitioner instead, of my own generative coding.

 

Now if the form keeps adapting, what is the goal that one can track and still be confident that one hasn’t gone off track?

 

For me, I think that continuity is health and wellbeing. And that ability to reground into the centre of joy. It is always a little bit about playing badminton for me when I am in action play. Try to play each shuttlecock (actually, whack it) and always go back into the centre while waiting for the next shot. I used to play competitively, and the rewiring I am making myself rework now is to play collaboratively.

 

Collaborative creative work is really a little bit of a jaunty ride.

After 20 years of doing this, and investigating kickstarting projects, programmes, products, services, enterprises, family(!), I realise, it’s not about scalability. Growth isn’t about scalability. It is about adaptability.

 

The scalability is about the connectivity. The multitudes of connections that one can build and cohere with others that are stable, for different circumstances. That which we call an ecosystem.

 

An an ecosystem where the common goal is health and wellbeing: personal, social, planetary.

 

The words, the description, the process, the form of organising, I think these become more like art – personal and universal at the same time, uniquely spoken and in many ways, rapidly iterating to communicate the necessary between groups and subgroups of relating.

 

Common Exchanges

Whether the exchange is a market exchange, as soon as two human persons engage, there is something of two identities having to navigate and decide a common ground which speaks for both identities authentically and agreeably, happening.

 

And so, the shape of me, would have to be also the shape of you, and what would the two shapes put together – look like? Be described? Be communicated? Be open for the engagement of another shape of the new other?

 

A Bag of Water

“Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with your love, it humbles my heart. For you are everywhere.” – Attributed to Rumi

I remember listening to Eileen Heisman speaking at a lecture organised by the Community Foundation of Singapore. She was sharing her journey as a philanthropic entrepreneur. She said that it is about being a bag of water in the freezer.

My takehome after that very inspiring evening was this note to myself:

  • You allow yourself to take the shape of the gaps of needs.
  • You become that momentary solidification of that gap. Of that new bridge. You become a space for the new relating. You become like a chemical bond for a new compound to become.

That’s what responding entrepreneurially to needs mean, for me.

 

Doggedly Terrified

I have scheduled another concall with Agnes on Tuesday, and I am terrified! I can’t pass up my homework.

Bilberries Blue remains doggedly wide open.

 

Ken Yong said, “I like the wild open.”

 

On Monday, July 1, I will share our forest journey. And since I am working ahead, that would make me a “precrastinator” (ref not named as there is a pop quiz prize for this).

 

Bilberries Blue Interns

Back to Friday, Winnie sent me a text. Internship! Our kids are getting ready for the workplace. And so, Bilberries Blue Interns will be PoP-ing up soon, and as I don’t direct anymore, the interns shall design their own internship!

Watch out for MEETINGS.

 

8pm with Vashima.

That walk from 10Sq to the bus stop took us a delicious, reflective pondering of 1 hour. What changed in my pattern language? I let go. Let everyone lead the way forward in each of the archetypes. Which means I kinda fire myself as the chief designer and engineer. And eventually, chief yakker.

 

9.00pm Friday Paktor Night

I made my Friday datenight, after my dinner date had finished his dinner. Thankfully, he greeted me with a smile and I didn’t have to go into the doghouse. Which will be tough because, we live in a condo and we don’t have a dog.

 

Saturday – Half Day Working Day

And this morning, I choose to be – liquid – glue.

And I WordPress this. And shut down the computer for 1.5 days.

 

A Collaborative Microsummit for Global Sustainability & Flourishing by

Bilberries Blue - Mar 2019 - finalIBI logoRICE-logo_colour-01

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