Community: surrounds and supports us. It’s ‘sense making‘, both through challenge, reflection and the import of new ideas. When we share values and purpose, the two foundation stones, we are made more effective through being more connected. The medium is a detail: Twitter, email or down at the pub, it’s the conversation that counts, the conversation that persists, winding through the channels with a life seemingly of it’s own.
Unconstrained and self moderating, our communities enlighten us whilst dismissing our fantasies and broadening our perspective. Sure, we can become introvert: inward looking, recycling, dry, tired, but it’s the nature of communities to foster their own disruption, to be the architects of their own salvation.
The Conference is over: as i left, the swarms were already descending to take apart the plywood veneer that thinly shaded the packing crates and bags. The illusion has passed: the space of Olympia reclaimed, anonymised, set back to default, ready to be dressed again tomorrow for dance, for motor cars, for holiday homes. Who knows? The space was only ever the place to host the community, which has fragmented again, blowing to the four corners of the world, awash with ideas that flutter through the Twittersphere.
I ended up in a small bar with one old friend and one new one, talking about poetry. We talked about how the ‘formal’ community can be a little judgemental, a little closed in, but that our online communities are generous. They behave differently. Moving beyond the physical to truly social, virtual space gives us different permissions, different ability to rehearse, different pressures to create. And we both liked it. A place to develop an art.
Our communities make us stronger: we should celebrate the times we come together.