Forest Pool, by Frances and Mary Allen
If you know the Chronicles of Narnia at all, you will of course know about the world between worlds. In C.S. Lewis’ series, characters must travel to a bizarre middle world between the one they live in and the one they might travel too. This world is a comfortable purgatory, an emerald green forest full of pools into which one jumps to travel between worlds. It’s a lovely place to stay and there is always a danger that the enchantment of that place will leave you there.
I like this image because as an autodidact, it sums up a particular mood or time when I am between learnings. For the last little while I’ve been studying and prototyping conversational processes. More recently, I have been looking again at the natural world and seeing what various people have been saying over time about nature, in an effort to draw those learnings into my practice. This has taken me away from explicitly reading and writing about facilitation and more about nature itself. And my reading has been very far away from my usual work, back into the realms of Thoreau, T.C. McLuhan and Barry Lopez.
In this transition between areas of interest, I find myself reading very shallowly, skimming blogs and books and not coming to rest on anything. I’ve noticed a reaction to this blog as well. I’ve had fewer posts, and I’m not really saying anything new. Instead I’ve been just reporting on stuff I’m doing. My hits have been down almost 40 percent in the last month, which I find fascinating. I have been looking at the stats for this blog over the past couple of years and see a heavy correlation with my engagement with ideas and my readers willingness to visit, link and spend time here. I noticed the same thing when I first started taking this blog seriously, when I spent a lot of time reading poetry a few years ago, when I turned my attention towards beauty and finally where I integrated my old Open Space weblog and this one became more about business, organizations, and facilitation.
So my thinking is that a lot more of what you’ll read here over the next little while will involve looking at the natural world and figuring out what it teaches us about our natural ways of being with each other. I’m looking for principles and lessons that can help me ground my life and facilitation practice in the way in which we really are.
So this is just a note…a bookmark to hold space to notice a subtle shift. I’ll hang out in the forest for a while before diving into a pool.