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A moment of panic: short story of a rabbit May 14, 2007

Posted by bevtrayner in Reflections.

Yikes … today my heart and feet turned cold today …

What we’re doing in the dialogue is not a usual thing. It’s like a new genre. Does it makes sense? So many people – representatives of different ways of thinking – are involved. Are we ready for that?

In Florence, at the CPsquare “Prato dialogue” we were enthusiastic about continuing the conversations. “Someone” would organise an event where we continue exploring what seemed like really important themes…

A conversation I had with Nancy … where she made a cold calculation .. how much would we need to get us all together at another event? Could we offer a panel, somewhere, for the price of the plane tickets to get everyone together? And what would be that price?

Bev – like a rabbit burrowing towards the carrot patch – sees short cuts between the tunnels … opening this door and that … sure that somewhere we will find that patch of carrots we’ve been planting along the way …

One important door she opens is that Etienne is giving a presentation in Portugal – for the Gulbenkein librarians – in May. She digs down that tunnel. She digs down others. One tunnel leads to doors. So does another. She finds ways to raise money for “us” to be together.

Bev reports back to John. Let’s go for it, they decide.

In the meantime Bev is dubious about accepting two lots of funding. One would give us enough to have a small, fruitful dialogue with relatively little work. Less people and more time for conversations. John – wise, inclusive John (mostly) – says that not only would two sponsorships allow more people be involved, but it would give us more chance to *practice* together. One thing is having conversations, but another is to experience being and practicing together. It’s the act of practicing together that will give us our edge.

In the meantime more characters are invited into, or enter, the story. For each person the sub-plots are similar and different: follow-on conversations, trip to Portugal, something on CV, chance to meet friends or network, a conference, island from stress, learn, need to talk, touch a guru, underpaid consultancy, curiosity, fun ….

And the periphery characters zoom more (or less) into focus – at different times for different people … THEKA librarians, EQUAL validation …

Bev, beavering away for conversations and improved practice, suddenly realises that the thing is out of control. Each person involved – dialogue participants and beyond – has such a different view of what is going on. Expectations and individual situations are so different. How will they all play out together?

She reminds herself of what’s important. Of what we’ve been working for. The objective of this dialogue is OUR conversations at the dialogue. It’s our doing and our being together. Curiously, our doing and *being together* is greatly enriched by *practicing together*. In the Gulbenkein project. And in the EQUAL validation. It’s not just that they are paying for us being together, it’s that they offer us a reality check. Paradoxically *they* are both the reason and not the reason we are coming together.

Finally, in writing this, something calms. Bev relaxes. This is just one big ball of stressful confusion. It’s sense-making, it’s negotiating meaning. It’s bonding and separating. It’s part of an individual and shared learning trajectory. It’s just part of the muddling through of being a human being – in all its generous, inadequate and needy glory! It’s what will take us onto next steps.




1. dekennisclub - May 15, 2007

Dear rabbit, I have found some of the carrots you’ve planted here and there and I am doing really well on them… and practicing planting and eating them collectively willl be good!

2. btrayner - May 15, 2007

lovely crunchy sound!

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