Save the date

READYING. For ‘N’.

Checked out a couple of venues over the last few days. Looking for something that would work well for the guests whom I have met, in person now, by running into them. Looking for the chance encounter is tough, though, and today I’m going to just lay low. Write some things. Reflect on this trip to Hanoi (almost two months). And see if I can share what I have discovered about ‘narrative,’ about the lenses we use to look at things, and maybe tell you some more, too, about the programme I am designing for Tuesday’s ‘N’. More on the way.

I’m sharing the exact location of ‘N’ only with people who are registering… So if you are curious, do get in touch.

At the time of this writing, 11 people have said ‘yes,’ and we are moving to registration. And I’m passing on the twenty something unclaimed invites, in the hope of gathering 16 of us, no more, no fewer, for 16N.

Who’s coming? Surprise.

Where will it be? Also a secret.

What will happen? That, yes. That I can share.

The programme for ‘N’ Hanoi: NARRATIVE, up next.


***

One of 4 venues I scoped in search of a spot for ‘N’ was the low-key cafe, 3.NHU. Best for the afternoon, I think. So not it, as ‘N’ is in the eve.

Art of Not Knowing: Invite the spontaneous

VERY FUN, very nice, very relaxing to talk quite openly and frankly for some giant length of time (two hours? Five?) about… nothing and everything. With JO. (Thank you!)

I like it when people say ‘yes’ to my impromptu invitations. As did our walk in the slight rain just south of the Old Quarter of Ha Noi, our conversation wandered. Which is exactly right, and it felt like S P A C E was getting made.

Made.

NOT designed. See, I always write about designing the bounded box. But this was… improvised. And not my initiative, fully. So that was cool, and fun, and really neat. Much like when I met SY, also in recent days in Hanoi.

Not because of anything that came beforehand, just… spontaneously. This was new. This was different. You can design for S P A C E that’s quality, or you can just let yourself be part of it when you see it’s emerging. See? That’s kind of fun, isn’t it? And when we used to let ourselves be spontaneous, such great things fell forth, didn’t they?

A new melody plays. A new love forms. A new shift, in the shape of space.

Is there a need for philosophy? Is there a place for salons? Is it important to connect with (and then, by design, interconnect) new and different others? For real life learning, together? I think so. I think we are losing our grip, ‘we’ as in the Western malaise and ennui drifting crowds. It’s not better in Asia. I mean, people have problems everywhere. Obviously. I’m not a sociologist, a psychologist, a commentator on Society, or anything. I am a connector. I always was. I will continue to be. And when this used to involve clients and meetings, I would bring in interns and photographers and illustrators—always invite the new and different others (and ‘others’ is an important part, for the sake of inclusion) into the circle to create and co-create. This wasn’t working well in Seattle, or Durham NC. So I left those places. I am now in Asia. Wandering about, looking for the resonance. Looking to make (or become part of, that’s the new learning from yesterday) the kind of space that feels good, feels like it’s right

Where you can be who you are

Where you can let your guard down

Where you don’t have to fear being judged

Or googled…

Where you can just… be.

That. That, to me, is high-quality space.

S P A C E.

Ask me anything. Connect at ‘A little S P A C E.’ Through the link under our ‘contact’ page. See it there, at the top. That’s where to go.

 

 

Raining in Hanoi

RAIN. In Hanoi. Rainy morning.

Construction is still on next door, for some reason. Oh, wait. I think it stopped. Oh… no, no. I’m wrong. Well, anyway. Maybe it’s an indoor kind of renovation. Maybe they are on a deadline. Perhaps its just irrelevant about this being a Saturday, for them. Maybe, maybe. Speculations.

Meantime it is raining. That means I have to figure out an alternate plan for this morning. Was going to be a walk in the park, a stroll through the gardens there. Some frisbee, maybe. Some walking around and talking to people, striking up conversation, maybe, and seeing where they are coming from, where they are going. But I think last weekend that was a bit tough. It’s a park, and people are already used to people walking up to them in parks asking questions, mostly about food items for sale and would you like to buy one, that kind of thing.

I sort of wish I could speak Vietnamese, then I could ask better questions and learn more. But then again, it’s not about language, is it? The fact of our language, the skill levels of our language, the communication details of our language are not where we have real communication, I am finding the longer I spend in countries where I don’t speak the language. I’m finding myself doing the things I always did when I was stuck. Smile, gesture, be a polite person as best you can. People will relax. And when we all relax a little, we find out something better and brighter about each other because we’re not trying to put the words into little boxes and embellish them with writerly flourishy ribbons. It’s simpler just to say, directly, ‘Hello. I see you there. Where are you coming from? Where are you going? Let’s talk.’ But this! This idea in and of itself is… ludicrous. (‘Who does that?’)

But there is someone who does that.

‘N’.

 

Discover ‘N’… Open the box.

 

I THINK the rain stopped. Let’s go see what’s going on. In the park. Or if not the park, then a little further east, in the city. Four people are ‘in’ for helping decide a date for ‘N’ Hanoi. I’m looking for 12 more. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see what unfolds.