by Franca Leeson
It all started last year, stealing a few moments between sessions to chat with Liz Monroe-Cook in a Muskoka chair* by the lake. We bemoaned the lack of “chill” time at these conferences: that is, not enough time to just hang out together. To have an unscheduled conversation, or even just sit quietly together. To exchange insights without having to rush away before discussing them. In other words, the casual encounters that are the true heart of a good conference; the reason we travel many miles to be face-to-face instead of just reading blogs and papers.
At one point, Liz said, “You know, I just wish we could all facciamo una passeggiata together.”
Then we stared at each other, instantly recognizing that yet another great idea had just been born.
“Fare una passeggiata” is Italian for “take a stroll,” but a passeggiata is a very special kind of stroll. It is an evening ritual partaken all over the Mediterranean (I’ve also encountered it in Spain, where it’s called un paseo.) Essentially, everyone in town puts on nice clothes and heads for the main street, where they slowly stroll up and down in groups, collecting and exchanging information about the news, prices, fashion, food, and “oh did you notice that Benedetta turned away from Luigi as he passed, are they on the outs?” This daily oiling of the social wheels is anything but frivolous! It an opportunity to re-align with the community in a relaxed setting, as well as to pick up valuable information.
IWWMW** fare una passeggiata at Mindcamp?
Let’s find out together. This year, you are all invited to enjoy a passeggiata (weather permitting) on Friday and Saturday evening after supper. Along the way, you will encounter all your Mindcamp friends, as well as special surprises: creativity “buskers” who will ensure everyone can have, and participate in, some extra fun along the way.
Best news: although we’re not sure of the path yet, it’s bound to include the Tuck Shop. ICE CREAM!
Just to get you in the mood, here’s a little video of a route we’re considering. Imagine it filled with fellow strolling Mindcampers, and lined with amazing creative opportunities! (And thanks to Liz, who cannot come this year but hopefully will enjoy passeggiata with us all in 2014.)
*That’s “Adirondack chair” to our sisters and brothers from the U.S.A….
**Creativityspeak for “In What Ways Might We…”