Today I sat in a room with people I know only a little, and had a 90 minute Conversation Without Words. A strange experience. I found I had a conversation mostly with myself about how I am in a group and what I look for in communication. I could so easily have sat quietly watching. I felt no great compulsion to reach out and make connections. Such pleasure in just watching.
When I chose to make eye contact, I found it hard to hold at first. I didn't know how to move on from that first warm feeling to a narrative conversation. So I sought activities to share to precipitate connection. It felt like when toddlers play alongside each other rather than together. I built a tower of cups and yearned to start a silent game of charades.
Come the end I found I enjoyed the pleasure of simply looking someone in the eye without need to communicate anything other than the joy of smiling at someone, and noticing things about them I never had before. It felt calm and restful and ever so filling.
As everyone left I stayed there to see what the space might feel like without anyone else in it. Immediately it turned from a place of comfort to a strangely lonely and empty room. For someone who loves solitude, perhaps that was the biggest discovery of all.
I loved Building Conversation and I'm so pleased to have tried it out. Can't recommend it highly enough. Will be booking onto all four conversations at Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May.
See you there!
You can see more about it, and book tickets at http://www.nnfestival.org.uk/festival/classical_music/building-conversation