Troubadour Hope Chest
It provokes. It challenges. It lures. It’s beautiful. It contains and protects hopes and dreams. It takes up space. It’s practical. Every home needs a Troubadour Hope Chest
A couple of weeks ago I met with friend and fellow slow learner, Tricia Postle.
Together Tricia and I formed a group we call COTH or Creativity-On-The-Hook. Once a month, we meet for tea, state our intentions, and report to each other on our progress. See earlier entry.
During our first meeting, Tricia shared the details of her intentions: her to do lists, her goals, her best intentions. I didn’t want to say anything at the time, but most of the items on her list felt dull and ordinary, full of duty and obligation and all those good things necessary to support and nurture Tricia’s brilliant creative projects.
But then Tricia started talking about how she wanted to someday travel as a troubadour musician. She spoke about rhythms, the songs, the traveling, the Persian rugs, the tour mobile, the demands of composing in the form, the possibility of a postmodern gypsy caravan. When she spoke about her future life as a troubadour, her physical presence transformed. She sat straight up. Her eyes brightened, and her voice lightened. Her visions of self as troubadour literally pulled her forward. There was a passionate woman in love with her future, speaking of longing and desire, sitting at the edge of her seat.
That’s when the idea came: why not invite some of this passion and desire into the everyday? Why not bring something physical and real into our homes as a reminder of what is possible? Why not use this container as a repository for carefully selected objects that bring us closer to a future we want to live into?
After some searching, Tricia now has her Troubadour Hope Chest.
In an email, Tricia says:
I like that it’s empty, I like that it’s there. I rearranged the studio so that it’s visible from all points. It seems to glow and make the rest of the furniture recede. In short, every household should have one.
Questions for reflection: What’s calling me forward? What kind of future might I create from my own longings? What kind of hope chest might I find?
You have the right*
- To learn about how you learn
- To learn as slow and as fast as you choose
- To rearrange your room (house, garage, life) to make room for your learning
- To claim space, time, and money for your own learning
- To learn from people who fascinate you
- To learn beyond school
- To be challenged
- To learn from people who fascinate you
- To ask for and to receive help
- To learn in quiet and without interruption with serious intent
- To learn in noise and mess with playful possibility
- To make a mess and not have to clean up right away
- To learn what is valuable and to value your learning
- To choose your own team of teachers, coaches, mentors, advisors
- To work with people who find you and your visions fascinating
- To work with people who are fascinated by your brilliant visions and will hold you accountable to do what you said you would do
- To be witnessed
- To focus
- To make a difference
- To make media
- To invent media
- To study with your heroes
- To experiment
- To experience
- To test your limits
- To contribute
- To change the world
- To create your own curriculum and to stick with it
- To change your mind when it doesn’t work and start again
- To study in community both near and distant, familiar and exotic
- To savor the erotic nature of learning
- To learn from mistakes
- To join the community of practice of your choice
- To join the professional network of your choice as a contributor
- To make learning a priority in your life
- To pay your dues
- To incubate and hibernate
- To be in action and produce measurable concrete results
- To learn how to discern between the time for #38 and #39
- To work with people who have some distance and perspective and can help you with #40
- To dabble
- To dive in deep
- To cross disciplines
- To learn what no one can teach
- To learn so that you might teach others to learn
- To learn new ways of learning that work for you
- To practice
* I know this list is incomplete and much is redundant. Comment, and help make it more better.
Calling on makers, designers, healers, dancers, musicians, poets, writers, inventors, entrepreneurs, activists, anarchists, filmmakers, philosophers, students, artists, corporate stiffs, and slow learning geniuses.
I’m looking for a few brilliant and creative people who are interested in joining me in this adventure I call Slow Learning. The following is a list of some of the possible actions we might create together. Look it over. What calls to you?
To respond, use the comment box or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Join a community of learners. Meet regularly with other people who are on a self-styled learning path. Discuss. Support. Question.
2. Create individual learning plans. This is a plan you would create with support from an individual or team. Your learning plan is a flexible document that includes goals, focuses, deadlines, timelines, incentives. Updates regularly with a coach, mentor or other witness.
3. Attend workshops, retreats, and intensives. Determined by interest of the group. May be led by other learners or hired from outside. May or may not be open to the public. May be didactic and specific, or may use democratic forms of facilitation such as Open Space Technology.
4. Learn and work in real-world settings with support: mentoring, shadowing, and apprenticeships. Finding and maintaining relationships with expert practitioners in areas of interest. Breaking and entering into the insider network of established communities of practice. May be paid for directly, brokered by a coach, bartered, or gifted.
5. Engage in learning exchanges: Bartering arrangements made within the Slow Learning community. Example: I teach you how to knit, in exchange, you teach me how to use Photoshop. Or I coach you on your public speaking and, in exchange, you fix my bike tire.
6. Give or receive learning gifts: Offers or requests for learning/ teaching with no expectation for return. Example: I edit your drafts because I want to. Or I update your Wiki because I know more than you do.
7. Set goals, refine goals, support for accountability: Part of your learning plan Revisited often.
8. Refine your social networking: The real kind, with meaningful exchanges and face-to-face meetings. More than FB friends and Linked-in acquaintences.
9. Learn about yourself: Enneagrams, dream work, expressive arts, healing circles, divination. Who am I, anyway? What’s so special about me? What’s my purpose/calling in life? What is my most important work?
10. Coach and receive coaching: one-on-one listening and learning from a committed, disinterested (not your bff) listener. Somebody who can offer you some tough love (call you on your shit) from time to time. Offer the same for someone else in the community.
11. Create alternative forms of accredation/ initiation/ certification.