Virtual reception :: The Art of Not Knowing

A NEW COLLECTION. After the conversations that came of a 2012 lecture, ‘There’s Not That Much Time Left,’ Design Kompany created online ‘rooms’ for talking together with people we didn’t know about how to leave a legacy you can feel great about. By designing the life you want. Working backwards from the picture of ‘the ending’ and figuring out how to attain that kind of a goal is, of course, the stuff of applied design.

We made a few things together with this group in real life, in virtual spaces, and in invite-only salons that helped us all talk more about ‘uncertainty.’ About not knowing what’s ahead, and working with that, anyway. Maybe you will be aware of the launch of DK’s set of writings and recordings, The Art of Not Knowing, (which I’ll refer to as AONK), because of those inner circle conversations. If that’s you, this will be an event to further connect in an online reception for the launch of the collection. Learn more about AONK here.

Be part of the online conversation on 1 July when join us for S P A C E with a pass. Details to follow for those who confirm. Advance bookings only. Book here.

Writing and eating

TWO THINGS today, on the agenda. Going through the conversations, going through the highlights of posts, of sharings to date, of learnings-as-we-went, and the reflections from ‘N’ in Phnom Penh, Bangkok, London, and the ones in progress in Copenhagen and Hanoi.

Today I will focus on getting things into a place where they are share-able with you, those of you who might be coming to this blog now, wondering about ‘N’. Did I invite you recently, to ‘N’ here in Hanoi? NARRATIVE is our theme. I’ll have bits that are easier to take in (than what kind people who mean well are telling me is) an unwieldy, not user-friendly blog. But… Writing. For one, mostly, here. I think. And people looking for places to leave links telling me how they think I should do something else with my ‘talent’ and stuff, which really, I’m so not interested in ‘digital marketing.’ I’m not going to write some compelling bit of fluff so you can sell your, what, wristwatches? I hate consumerism. I hate the junk that we are consuming without even letting ourselves ask, ‘Wait, wait, wait. Is this adding to my life. Really. Is it? IS it? And so on.)

Meantime, here in Hanoi…

‘N’ HANOI. With the help of 15 others, people who are new to one another, who don’t know what’s going to happen, who aren’t sure where this might lead them, but who are open to trying new things, we, together, will make an ‘N’ here in Hanoi. Next week. Now. Off to find some foodstuffs. And blogging. Blogging is a bit of a solo thing, for me, I think, esoteric and inaccessible as most stuff I like to post here tends to be (they said, gently). Anyway, so? It’s been just me, mostly, here at this space. So I welcome you to this conversation, even if it’s an ambient one, and more is on the way for those who get in touch to request an invitation >

Save the date, almost

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.’

ARE YOU CURIOUS? And in Hanoi? Request an invite >

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.