This is what the morning light looks like outside my window this time of year…
I was with my love-money Steve and pest-son Lee down by the bay photographing it, of course! (Lee is a logophile like his father and I – and his "other mother" Liz – and he chose this cheeky anagrammatical name for our relationship many years ago)
This first shot was taken after the moon was already high in the sky and it was beginning to get dark out, so there's greater contrast than in most of the earlier shots you can see in the gallery sequence below.
"Developing" the shoot at home the next day, I was struck by this photo of Lee photgraphing an earlier view of the moon through his iPhone… in particular I was intrigued by the way the light of his screen seemed to mirror the luminescence of the moon. It was almost like he had a little moon in his hands!
I learned something new from him about iPhone photography that night when he turned me on to an app called Photosynth, which lets you take seamless panoramic shots on your iPhone in one go. I'm more and more intrigued by the possibilties offered by this easy-to-access medium since reading Al Smith's eyePhone in David du Chemin's excellent Craft & Vision e-book series.
A month or so ago Deborah Goldblatt and I hosted a World Café out at Commonweal in Bolinas for a group of end-of-life practitioners. Leading up to that event everything I saw or heard seemed to relate to our subject in some way – perhaps unsurprisingly given my sister Karen's death at the beginning of this year and my friend Kay's passing in June.
To prepare, Deborah and I went to see Anna Deavere Smith's phenomenal Let Me Down Easy at the Berkeley Rep, which was obstensibly about the body and resiliance – and it was – but it was also about death and disease and how poverty (and wealth) effects people's access to health care. If that wasn't enough, the circle I meet with every week in Second Life began a 16 week journey exploring the subject of Death and Dying through the 8 directions of the Medicine Wheel.
Somehow the essence of my whole matrix of experience during this time is rendered immaculately by this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. We heard David Whyte recite it on one of his many CDs, this one about "apprenticing one's self to one's own disappearance" as we drove over the sacred mountain Tamalpais on our way to Commonweal.
It's called Pied Beauty:
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
I'm inspired and encouraged by an article in Fast Company called "The Creator Of TED Aims To Reinvent Conferences Once Again". The author, Warren Berger, describes a creative turn-around for TED founder Richard Saul Wurman, who is designing a new kind of conference that will be “like a dinner party with a hundred of the world’s greatest minds having a conversation, two at a time.”
It sounds amazing, and I'm excited to see new creative thinking emerge about the ways we can gather online. Here's what Wurman's website says about the conference:
WWW.WWW will be a gathering of the greatest, most interesting & curious minds in the world engaged in immersive & improvised conversation. It will celebrate the 21st century while drawing attention to the new patterns & convergences affecting our health & that of our planet.
This attention to pattern and convergence sounds like it's right up our alley at the World Café, and perhaps what's most interesting to me is the app they are developing to "harvest" the event:
"The app will be a new modality, perhaps equal to the pivotal changes that have emerged in how we interact with information and each other. It will not merely archive presentations, as is currently the practice, but will offer a unique way to navigate, learn and understand information based on ones own personal journey and vast online resources."
Now all they need is interaction with their "audience"… That to me is the real revolution and innovation happening in the world of conferences. Imagine the possibilities if there was a way for people to really participate in the conversation at this event! Give me a call at weDialogue, Mr Wurman, and we'll set something up.
By the way, the Shift Network is getting wise to the value of audience participation and is bringing me in to host a World Cafe for their online Enlightened Business Summit with Chip Conley, on November 10th. This is actually a fabulous week-long series of free online sessions featuring people like Daniel Goleman, Daniel Pink and … me! 🙂 Come join us!