Tuesday’s issue of S P A C E, DK’s weekly e-mag, will be ‘In the Third Place.’
In which I’ll write down what we have gathered from the goal of showing up, meeting regularly, at the same place, monthly, since I got back to Cambodia in November. Some of the time, not all of the time, there is magic.
9 July | The Third Place. Max 4. Tickets >
I must have reached out to 45 people over the course of six months. Since I returned to Phnom Penh, I figured it would be a good idea to reach out and see if I could network my way to finding people who were new here, this year. Maybe new energy is just what I need, I thought, after 20 months in solitude (See my book, Solitude, Kismuth Books / 2021). So I did what I do when I show up in a new city. Networked online.
Mostly LinkedIn, this time. I have given up on twitter. My personal account was deleted years and years ago and my @designkompany one is private. I quit facebook in 2014. I lost my passwords to all the other things that used to be hip and cool and fun in 2006ish.
I do have Discord but that is just to talk to one person. Which makes sense. I have Zalo for three people. And that’s it, me and my social media ‘contacts.’ Haha. Simple is good, for me. Speaking of which, there are just four spots for each edition of The Third Place. One is mine, so I have three tickets. It’s advance bookings so I don’t have to bother with dealing with cash on the day which is awkward since I don’t have a phone to take payments, and I think that is what people do now.
THE THIRD PLACE. To be continued. We’ll try this. Meeting on the 9th of the month in July… It’s advance bookings. Get tickets.
I have a small circle of people to thank today for being part of ‘N’ Internet: NEXT, which took place on consecutive days this past weekend and which opened my eyes and mind quite expansively in ways I haven’t experienced since… hm. Maybe that time I was at a blogger’s conference, Gnomedex, in 2005, with my reporter’s notebook and a pen taking notes while the people around me were in fifteen backchannel conversations reporting to each other what was going on.
I was at that time newspaper reporter, like for, you know, a print daily. How things were changing in front of me, and how the reality of how people were going to be getting their news was obvious in that moment, hit me like a juggernaut and I literally skip-ran back the short hop from that conference hall to my office building, on the same street, as I recall, in downtown Seattle, bursting in with excitement and saying, ‘We gotta have a blog!’. They said no. And that very year, I started this one.
Being open to the possibility of being changed by what you hear. Is. The very definition of listening.
And thanks to those whose paths I’ve crossed all these many journeys in work, life, real world walkabouts, and showing up at things because while it’s hard to do because you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s what I do because I don’t have virtual tethers of smartphones and their various apps that pull me back from being there and asking someone I don’t know a question that they may or may not have the answer to and it may or may not be correct. The point for me was always that breaking of a barrier, of going out, further out, but up until now it has always been geophysically.
What I learned from N Internet NEXT, so far, is that you can also do it… with your consciousness. With your mind. Being aware of more than what you already know, or feel. Being willing to suspend your beliefs: that’s, for me, what’s next.
To be continued!*
PS Who wants to come ‘next time’? Next time is scheduled for later on, and soon. It’s by donation now in lieu of tickets like before, when 16N looked like this. But yeah. Get a ticket at our crowdfunding page. Here’s a link.
four three days we will be waiting to hear if we can or cannot go outside for basic things like walking around for fresh air, legally, I mean, without, turning around and checking over our shoulders to see if someone in a blue suit or a white suit in plastic, or a blue suit or a green suit is going to tell us ‘no.’ The thing that they call these official folks are ‘functional forces,’ I think that includes the healthcare, military and police officers together functionally fighting off the pandemic. Or?
We are waiting. I’ve been waiting since March 2020, but that’s a different story. (See: Solitude / Kismuth Books 2021.)
Will we get to go amble about freely and lawfully on Friday?
In the ‘news’ articles that are controlled by state media, we get to read about the government’s ‘plans’ to do something, or how a place ‘eyes’ or ‘mulls’ something to do soon, maybe, or, once, how ‘Ho Chi Minh City will not meet its target’ to end social distancing by 15 September.
Buckle in tight, kids. We’re not sure about anything until it’s announced and reconfirmed, which you can tell if it is the latter by sticking your head outside and seeing if anyone else is going around doing something that they can now do, because, you know. Herd mentality. Also: listening for what’s immediate, ask me about the local network of older ladies who are more in the know than ‘functional forces,’ at times, ahem, yes.
Many thanks to my neighbors in my alley for looking out for me, making sure I get the free food when it’s delivered sometimes and also giving me bread, noodles, home cooked meals at times, and, importantly, fresh Vietnamese coffee. I am so lucky.
Meantime, I am going through the things that happen when everything is uncertain and recognizing I have the capacity to create certainty in my week. Well, weekend. I am going to host an ‘N’. The whole entire point of ‘N’ in 2014 was to cope with the unnerving feeling around waiting and wondering about people, most of them not really very important to me, because who is important when you first meet them, anyway? You have to get to know people, over time, sit together, see if they are a good person, as a good person I’ve gotten to know through sitting together over time for more than a year now here in Vietnam has taught me…. and yeah. You want certainty that the first thing you decide to do together will actually happen.
I love things happening. I don’t really mind who is there, so long as it happens.
And not, like, lsat minute because everything else fell through. There is a difference. If you don’t know what that difference is, then the very point of someone designing an event to optimize for intentionality is probably not going to be something I can convey on a blog post through words. But if you do, and you’ve missed this, here it is. ‘N’. I love ‘N’.