SOME OF THE PEOPLE reading this page today will recognize what this means. The poll. Where the people who say ‘yes’ to an ‘N’ event work together to mutually agree on a date.
At the time of this writing, we have 6 people ‘in’ for the same date for ‘N’ Hanoi.
WHICH SIX, and which date, however, are yet TBD. But I am working to confirm things, to gather the ‘yes I’ll really be there’ assurances that will let me know which date, and which people, and how many invitations are left to make, and how much more walking about Hanoi I will calculate is needed such that we can arrive at the magic number of 16. Has to be 16. I am sort of obsessed about this number, if only because i like small groups, four groups of four, for one of the things we do at each ‘N’. Meantime, I’m optimistic that the right gathering will come into shape organically, intuitively, without being… forced. We are starting to converge on some things, some options, some details. It’s going to be very clear, very soon, who is coming, for real, and we will share the location details with only those who register. That’s how it works. That’s how we play 16N. To the journeys! To the new, the near, the now and the next. ‘Don’t push the river,’ a friend, CH, says on the bottom of her emails, ‘it flows by itself.’
At the time of this writing, we have 4 people ‘in’ for ‘N’ Hanoi.
__, from the bus.
__, from the… um. The internet.
__, from a public event.
__, from upstairs. Who was first to join ‘N’ Hanoi. A spot that I am always eternally grateful to someone for saying ‘yes’ to. More on the ‘why’ of this, below.
SOMETIME IN THE COMING DAYS I will circle back to Parts I-III. About how it has been going all this time, since I first started to share out in the open about the journey of ‘N’ Hanoi.
From the time we started with having discovered the venue, to when the decision came in a sort of weird inward insight to commit to the doing, to starting the ‘N’ journey in this blog for the first time really talking about all the uncertainty as it’s going on, et cetera. And how I think I found 2 or 3 of us (but, in the end, was wrong about. Hm. Happens.)
Ups. Downs. Movements in between. Still at it, though. Still working towards gathering 16 total strangers for a conversation installation in Hanoi in June on the theme, NARRATIVE. ‘What are the stories we tell the world? What are the ones we tell our selves?’ A low-key conversation, in which no prior experience or expertise is necessary. It’s about the who, more than the where or when, so I am starting with invitations to people I don’t know. Asking them to add their preferred dates to a secret poll online. Asking us to confirm whether we can do this, whether 16 of us can ‘say yes’ and ‘show up.’ The two most important things you need to have happen before the magic moment of ‘N’ can even begin to come within gravitational reach. More about ‘N’ is at the ’16N’ link, in our menu bar at the top of this page. Check it out.
Those things happened, and between then and now Parts I-III of the narrative of ‘N’ Hanoi did, too, and I shared a little with the S P A C E community, which is what? Which is something you can find out about when you click the box here, and so on. There’s so many layers to this, isn’t there?
When someone joins ‘N’ for the first spot, I know that the ball is in motion. The onus is now on me to gather the rest of us, somehow. It feels hard, sometimes, like trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat. But other times it’s very natural, very casual, very normal. Like today, when I met ___. I hope you will read this, __, I hope you will discover that this is part of an interactive story, not just me writing and blogging and ‘documenting.’ I used to have comments open on everything here, but they are always taken over by people in car sales or something like that, and it gets ugly going through all the spam, so I don’t do that now. But my comment box is always open here, in case you are reading, or someone else whom I shared about ‘N’ with today (or in recent weeks). I guess I only just started talking about it out loud because I got the feeling, after the first ‘yes’, that there was scope for this, here. Hanoi is on for ‘N’, I think. People are game, I think. People say yes and people sometimes even show up, and once in a while people co-host things with me, too. That is beautiful, when it happens. That is conversation at its upper limit best. Co-creation. Conversation. Making things up, together, as we go.
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.
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.