The Reeling

Reel. Noun and verb.A cylindrical object on which to wind something; a Scottish or Irish folk dance. To wind something by turning a reel. To be or feel disoriented, off balance, staggering. To move in such a manner. To dance a reel.

We were not dancing.

I sat in a room with 9 other creatives today and we all tacitly consented to participate in a long, difficult, unplanned conversation about what the hell we’re really doing. No one cried, or stormed off, or failed to handle their own business. No one shouted. And only three (or so) remarks were genuinely snappish. There was no side-taking. Individuals felt empowered to break the tension with humor. The group eagerly jumped on that bandwagon every time it rolled by.

For two hours we sat with each other in a circle pretty seamlessly taking turns speaking, without a facilitator. It felt to me that everyone was being genuine rather than trying to find and fulfill a role. No one declared him or herself the leader. On the other hand, no one declared him or herself the leader.

We canceled our show. We accepted, if we did not admit, that we failed. We figured out how to start over.

I am staggered by this feat. I work in a respectably remunerated, higher than average visibility, reasonably high stakes professional situation from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday and I cannot consistently get more than a few continuous minutes of this level of adult behavior. Perhaps this is the perfection in passion.

The value of an effective partnership and the completely aspirational work which cannot be created without it, was more dear to each one of us today than his/her/my own anything.  That is a rare and powerful moment.

I’m going back next week. It is not clear to me that the direction we have chosen to go in is what I need right now. But the privilege of working with people who can do what we did today is more than fulfilling until I can figure that out.

And now there can be dancing. Perhaps some Passion Pit.


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