Reading… this is reading

[the title by the way will probably only mean something to travellers on the Great Western Railway]

Suw just commented on my tuttle post on open spaces that we might have a book-reading session, which reminds me that I was talking to Laura North the other day who is working on the National Year of Reading – yes, it’s now, it’s happening.

My first idea was to get people together to do some play reading – a comedy, preferably, probably something intellectually stimulating too. And short. The Real Inspector Hound for example, or maybe some Orton. I don’t know, anyway, I thought it would be fun and easy to do and eminently bloggable. Anyone?

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Being right

I find it very productive to sometimes think “What if I’m completely wrong about this?” You know, “What if this tightly-held, well-evidenced belief is actually not true?” Even if it does turn out to be true, it can be an illuminating exercise to consider what the world would be like or what our experience of the world might be or what decisions we might make differently IF it weren’t the case. It goes as well for global situations “What if the world isn’t actually flat even though that’s how my senses perceive it?” as well as the more personal: “What if it weren’t true that everyone hates me?”

An equally productive development of this rhetorical exercise is to ask “what if, rather than believing that everything about this situation is wrong, what if everything were just right?” In effect this is asking “What if I’m wrong about everything in my life going wrong?”

That’s what I was writing about yesterday. “What if the innovation edge conference was actually perfect in every way?” What does that tell me, what can I learn about it, what might I do differently myself as a result of experiencing it and experiencing my discomfort?

So today, as I begin another day with No Fixed Abode and seeing other people’s fear and insecurity when I explain to them what’s happening and being tempted to fall into that spiral of panic and busy work that I well know makes for little progress, today, I ask myself “What if I’m wrong that not having a permanent place to live is the worst possible situation to be in?” “What if it’s absolutely right and perfect that I’m flat-sitting for a friend?” What might I do in response to that, how would I think and act, what might it mean about me? And why might I have brought myself to this place?

And as I reflect on all that, a paradox becomes clear to me. This week I have had the recurring feeling of being safe and at home – *wherever* I am. I was in Epsom yesterday and went to the Post Office and walked along the High Street and it was all lovely and suburban and I thought “Oh yes, this is home, perhaps this is where I should live all the time” and then this morning I was in Pimlico and walking around the gardens of St George’s Square and had *exactly* the same feeling.

From which I take that it was in order to fully appreciate that I really belong here, wherever “here” is, to fully understand that I’m at home wherever I am and that my physical location is purely a matter of choice, that I had to bring myself to this experience of “homelessness”.

So, phew! Having gotten that out of my system, I think I’ll choose a period of greater stability 🙂