Design construct life together: We place some paving stones in the garden to make a path. We place the series on top the earth and look at it…

Design and construct and life together:

We place some paving stones in the garden to make a path. We place the series on top the earth and look at it from several angles. We walk on the stones. We move this to the right a bit, that closer to the next stone. Here we have to balance precariously—we feel comfortable. So we adjust a bit—that’s much better. This is design and construct working together, back and forth. And if you noticed, life too—how we will use the path, how we will live with it—entered the negotiations, negotiations which created the pathway as a process.

Process, meeting, hearing each segment. The drawing board did not account for this fence post, that rock, this tree, but in the field, on the ground, we can feel when this is too close, where the angle does or does not work, and we can make just right.

Just right is life.

Just right is life-giving. Just right allows our life to expand.

In our times we have come to value goals and planning. Mostly by this we mean sterile, at our desk, in our separate mind-world, created goals and planning. We do not have the aspect of, nor do we value, this sort of on the ground back and forth process. Because this is missing, we are poor.

Some of us have noticed something going on when people meet and converse: emergence. Something arises, something is brought forth in these gatherings where we meet to work together.

It feels like magic. Something none of us carried in carries us out.

Yet it is not magic. It is simply the process. The process that we miss when we are in our rooms alone, each trying to conceive. Life does not respond.

The process is this: we hold bunches of ideas. Each brings his or her own bouquet of blossoms to share. Each makes a contract to sniff the aromas and see the colors: to receive; to hear the other. Design is the woman in the ideas; Construct is the man who wonders aloud how it might work in his business; Life is the child who sees that it would lift our spirits if we smoothed out this jagged edge. Round they go, and pretty soon we have something that grew out of the idea, the wondering, the spirit: it is a being of light and liveliness that, although we cannot see it, resembles all of us.

So this is what is missing in goaling and planning, and what is present in emerging and meeting. We might even say it is the presence in emerging and meeting.

This generates form in the world, if we let it. This says that there are certain things we value, and what we value we will work toward increasing: they all center on life. It shows us vividly what is missing in debate and discussion (a contract to hear and receive; a multiplicity of ideas and people and life); it embraces Maslow’s being-values and Steiner’s existence-value of the cosmos; it values the process of self-organization as being life-enhancing—and seeks to intensify that life.

We bring together not just authority, resources, information, expertise and need; we bring together also all those who have ideas, care and are affected by what we do. We start a series of meetings, a system of meetings, we plant a whole ecosystem, with flows in all directions back and forth, and it all results in the one thing we all value: life.

This is what we are about: Life. Together.

Designing, making, living. Living has uniqueness, fitting, moving, roughness, hearing. Designing has dreaming, storying, organizing. Making has fitting, sweating, working, self-organizing. Round and round. Speak, hear, respond. Breathe in, stop, breathe out. Grandparents have parents, parents have children, children have grandchildren. Round and round. Design, make, live.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on August 21st, 2009 | No Comments »

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