The invitation

As ‘yes’ becomes ‘ticket-yes’

USED TO THINK that ‘N’ was about pushing back on the culture of maybe, way back in 2015 when the idea of orchestrating 16N, a 16-way blind date was just a sketch on a napkin.

But, that was early days.

Now, with the learnings from previous ‘N’ salons in Phnom Penh, Bangkok and London, I see that ‘N’ isn’t so much about commitment from the side of our guests as it is about me making the invitation. That is the work: me committing. To seeing if people would be there, be curious, be open. To learning from one another, to listening with eyes and hearts open. Isn’t that where the beauty is? Isn’t the pursuit of beauty the point?

ARTFULNESS. So yes. ‘N.’ Is an invitation. Some reading this, I hope, from other ‘N’ events will appreciate this next link. A poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer with this title, ‘The Invitation.‘ (It’s on the left-side sidebar of that page, check it out.) As passed on to me from someone I just happened to meet, happened to get to know, and happened to have that feeling, ‘Yes. I need to invite this person to N…’


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Selected excerpt from ‘The Invitation’
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

Read the whole poem at the poet’s site, here >

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.