Laughing Gnome

I have finished Murakami’s epic Killing Commendatore– it is of course brilliant.  In the final chapters was a description (almost verbatim) of a dream that I had a couple of months ago.  Reading it in the early hours this morning spooked me and called upon a well of tears that had clearly been waiting for an invitation to flow. Connectivity is one of Murakami’s themes, and knowing what is real, or not real, with which to make connections is another.  In the end you have walk through the darkness and trust – real or not.  Trust in what exactly?  To carry on walking, wading or even sitting on the unknown paths as they open bit by bit underneath me. Perhaps the path is above me and my feet have nothing to do with the journey.  Either way, I can highly recommend the book.  It will take you down surprising paths.  I also think it is a great metaphor, even an example, of therapy; provided that the therapist stays out of the way and doesn’t hinder the journey with pseudo expertise, theories to fit the client into, or handcuffs to bind the client to an inaccurate account of reality and its possibilities.  This can be problematic because sometimes this is also what the client wants.  Fall prey to that and therapy is sunk.

I don’t usually read epic fictions, preferring poetry, short stories and novellas.  I can plough through epic philosophies with a spring in my step, and yet always feel rushed to get to the end of a story if I am reading a novel. I get bored very easily.  I just realised there is no difference between the epic philosophies and epic stories and find myself laughing like Bowie’s Gnome. I am almost hysterical as I find my own novella turning into a novel.  Happy days 🙂

Philosophy, Therapy & Creativity

Saturday 5th January – Philosophy, Therapy & Creativity – Workshop

The day began with a little trepidation and squinty eyes – broken sleep from the night before. I had prepared for the workshop that I was about to co-facilitate with someone I had never worked with before and on a workshop not offered before. We had met at a formal dinner and by chance sat next to one another; with excited conversation about philosophy, therapy and creativity – an idea was born.  We were excited, but could we actually deliver and make it at the very least, interesting enough for others to want to attend and engage in?  The first part of that question boosted our confidence – it sold out and there are further enquiries – so good so far.

For the first moments, and sometimes the first hours of a new course or workshop, it can be daunting with 25 pairs of eyes and ears waiting upon you to deliver – something.  Of course, my fear is a projection loaded with questions: will I remember what I am hoping to say? Will my structure work? Will I fall flat on my face? All questions played out in my mind in my imaginary delivery. After questions all about me and my fragile ego, I turned my fear to the group – will the group get something out of this? Will the workshop be beneficial, enjoyable, worthwhile?

I am not new to teaching and training so in the end all I can do is go with it – all of it – all the feelings, stupid ego, hopes, desires, fears;  go with the inevitable ups and downs, ins and outs of my experience, and at the same time engage with the experience of the group, trusting that something will be born.  And what a group it was!  Enthusiastic, engaged, generous, open and creative.  It was an absolute delight and it seemed to me to be indicative of the culture created also by the establishment itself at the Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley Hall: creative, open, encouraging, generous.  This attitude is crucial if we are to safely and creatively cross boundaries  – and I mean that in all senses of the statement: open borders not just for interdisciplinary teaching and training, but open borders full stop in order to create, create, create anew.

Click here for more information… ICE at Madingley Hall