A FEW DAYS AGO, I had no idea if I would be staying or going. It isn’t relevant where I am, now that I think about it, but rather, that I am committed to being here. And where I am I have a thing to do. Some people will be aware of the 16N project, which seeks to convene total strangers for a once-off moment of conversation in a curated, designed, themed, and prompt-led space.
I shared very little about a lot of the backstory, like the minuses, the things that people said to me when I invited them to this. Someone in Phnom Penh, where ‘N’ kicked off in 2015, got mad in email and I nearly folded it, then. Fear. Worrying. But… One person? Their angst? Letting go of the project because of some random email? I deleted it. Pressed on. Then we did it. Then we did it in Bangkok. Then London. I have commitments, too, to a few in Copenhagen, waiting for a few more to say Yes and commit.
And, here. ‘N’ Hanoi: NARRATIVE is in design and development, with the first few invites posting today. Mmmm… I think. I feel…. And feeling is what matters here… That I have to keep going with this. I’m gonna try, at least start this. Next one. Next ‘N.’ Let’s see what unfolds.
16N. It’s sort of what it is because of what it’s been, so far, and also, what whomever chooses to join me on the day of ‘N’ brings. We are all about the art of not knowing, here, but occasionally it can be terribly daunting. You just can’t be certain if it will be okay, yet you also realize that it will be what it will be. Happening or not happening is not the issue. Cause you can choose to make a thing happen. And I had to renew my commitment to ‘N.’ To the doing. The inviting, the long haul of not knowing if I will manage to connect in a way that I need to connect with the 16 to be determined guests. So I can really show up to doing that important part of being the host.
Another one. Of these. Another ‘N.’
Hard, and yet.
Well, I started looking things over. I had brought the tickets with me. (A clue? That I wasn’t giving up, on this quest, just yet?) Sixteen tix that I started on half a year ago, already with this city in mind. It’s bricolage, you know. The tickets. Our guests. Found, shared, In a magic moment… Philosophy. Hmm. The 16 tickets (pictured) are for ‘N’ here, in this city with an ‘N’ in it, tickets made from bits I found in Copenhagen, where I was meeting people for the ‘N’ to be held there. In the near future, it will. Committed. All of these are like that. ‘N’ is always themed, so I look to invite people I think might be interested in that topic. Sometimes it’s fascinating, sometimes you really see the magic in it, other times you find out there is inherent magic… Just have to let it show itself.
DOUBT, at times. Seems to unsettle it. Especially when it is slow going, like when more people disregard the invitation than actually say Yes. I love when people say Yes to an ‘N.’ Makes me repair some rising feelings about humanity when I see people are still curious, open and intrigued. But lately I’ve put this project to the side. To make other mini events. Some were great, but.., ‘N’ is special in a way that none of the others are. Still, it’s been quitty, sometimes. The naysayers get to me. Finding myself in a place of not wanting to push through because, really, ‘N?’ Who cares, came the cynics. Why, asked the critics. Aren’t you losing money on that? What will I get out of it? Are you self-funded? Gee, lucky you.
Lucky, lucky me. I get to discover and connect. At ‘N’, and that’s a lovely thing to get to do.
JOIN N. Curious where ‘N’: NARRATIVE will be? It’s Hanoi.
In town? Request an invite here.