About 14 October ’18 gathering

Hi all!
Just quickly thanking for yesterday.
Honestly, I was not expecting anyone to come for a walk under the rain! But in the end we were 4! And I personally enjoyed our little simple walk very very much.

At one point I felt as we were a little flock with no direction and its own beauty. I don’t know if the participants noticed it, but we changed speed once in while: slow in green areas and faster in trafficked Holloway road.

While chatting with Habiba (thank you!!), I also had the chance to realise a bit more what this is about.
The idea came one morning, very early in the morning after a very funny party in Utrecht (NL), while I was listening to a black bird and wondering what the hell was it saying.
I then found someone who not only gave the answer, but also suggested to immerge yourself into that listening in order to create a connection with the environment.
Birds, indeed, use sound and vision as primary sensory indicators, as well as humans, and they are even listened by other animals, like squirrels, in order to know what’s going on, like a cat approaching.

So they are like a bridge, a sort of story tellers.

The same guy who explained bird language, is now part of a team that work on “cultural repair”, and the village is the place where this can happen.
Connection is the base of well-being: being connected to the others, to ourselves, to the environment is the key to a fun and peaceful life, where our unique expressions are listened, enjoyed and shared.

How? Like anything in life: through practice.
The village is the practice of connection.

Tataaaa!!! End of the post 🙂

about leadership and freedom

Yesterday Jane on Nextdoor wrote:

Would love to walk and talk but can’t make the date. I’ll be watching this space now. Here’s a thought – If not me, then who? If not me then why not me? We are always waiting to be ‘led’, but leaders are just ‘me’s’ who put themselves forward. Kudos to you Michele!

Here is my answer:

Interesting comment Jane!
Leadership is an interesting subject.
During a recent workshop called “music circle and human connection” near Finsbury Park, led by a young Brazilian, I realised that leadership is just an element that facilitate activities. That guy was extremely sweet, practising non violent communication. He managed to let everybody have a very nurturing piece of free expression, without leaving his absolute leadership apart.

Coming back to your comment, I believe that when we get together without leadership, we breath!
As you pointed, whether in a non violent, or sadly violent way, a leader is always there to tell you what to do.
Democracy (that I believe to be the best form ever) is all about freedom to vote… leaders!
It is part of human nature, nothing that we should fight. The problem, in democracy, but also in any other environment, is just to choose the best leader.

Probably what we do during our gatherings is not really leaving leadership apart, but experience the boundary between leadership and freedom, because while leadership can be absolute, freedom (as absence of leadership) is what I believe to be the most advanced form of civilization.
Stay together one or two hours, relaxing, enjoy time, activities, creativity, comforting each other without being led by someone all the time but maybe just sporadically, requires self control, the ability to care for the others and to balance our own integrity.

Amen XD


First gathering done, it was a fantastic chaos! :D

Dear Villagers,

yesterday we have accomplished a great social milestone: we gathered with very little organisation, no need of any kind of leadership, and with the pure desire to be villagers. And it was beautifully chaotic! 😀

I personally enjoyed it very much, despite the fact that the location was not the best for chatting quietly, while taking care of toddlers. After 30 minutes the pub became a bit too noisy, and not safe enough to leave the toddlers wondering alone.

We were: 3 toddlers, 2 mothers, 1 father (me) and other 3 adults… a fantastic mess!

I personally had no expectations, and I liked it a lot! It actually met one sort of hidden expectation: it was relaxing and authentic.

One of the participants asked me to give a speech, that I prepared but not provided (I really couldn’t), but after the request I realised that there was no need: I loved the chaotic fluidity that rose by itself, and at the end I received some very passionate feedback about the pleasure of meeting new totally unknown people.

So, what’s next?
Just before we waived goodbye, Sabine told me that she is missing walks from her Germany.

In his “Thinking, Fast and Slow” the neuroscientist Daniel Kahneman talks (also) about the relationship between the walking speed and the pace of thinking, and since I read that book, I realised how lovely is to cogitate together at a slow speed, or even walk alone, in the evening, when I feel the need to reorganise my mind.

So, shall we gather for a walk? 
It would be a fantastic way to connect with each other, and with our area! There is plenty of things to see.

Buildings and plants have a very intimate relationship: they are physically adherent, they share the same space, cohabit, share surfaces, temperature, roofs, water pipes, earth… have you even thought about it?

Let’s see if this new call will reach someone 🙂

I will soon publish a new post with a new village walk-gathering invitation.

second private message to S., that received a positive answer

Hi Sabine! Thanks a lot for your answer and your curiosity.

I have been waiting for a calm good moment to answer. It might sound a bit utopian, but I really want to build up an authentic, local sense of tranquillity and peace.

I am not looking for something intense. Yesterday I went to a fantastic gathering (one off), called “music circle and human connection”, led by a young Brazilian. That was intense! Singing and dancing for 6 hours, talking about ourselves to each other using non-violent communication, with a growing joy on what became a communal blood stream.. yes, extremely nice and intense.

No, I am looking for something very quiet and peaceful, with maybe a similar goal, but with local resources. Maybe unintentionally, with the word “intense”, you picked the sense of what diversifies my (mostly unshaped) desire from what I very often experience in London’s workshops.

In the last year of my life I jumped from one workshop to another, all about music, dance, opening up, authenticity… and they were all so intense. If I go to one gathering at 8pm for a couple of hours, for example, it’s intensity keeps me awake until 4am! And sometime it becomes even a problem for the plans of the following day.

In my imagination, the village (or neighbourhood) is something alive but with its own rhythms, the rhythms of a local, little community. The idea to run weekly gatherings lays exactly on the simplicity of a local life.

There is another person (Sasha from nextdoor) who was very interested but could not come because of work hours, and a friend of mine, also local, who is also very motivated in supporting my plan. If you feel like, we could have a very simple gathering when possible for all of us, maybe in a public space like Tufnell Park Tavern. What do you think?

I can publish another call on nextdoor without a fixed time/date (to decide with whom will be interested, through the chat), at the Tufnell park tavern, and see how it goes. And even if we won’t meet, thanks a lot anyway!

I will not live in London forever, so if I will go somewhere else, and decide to give this another try, I will surely make good use of our little conversation 🙂 Michele

I receive a positive answer and I am going to set it up soon!

message to S. after no one showed up at the first gathering

Hi Sabine!

Unfortunately yesterday nobody showed up.
I might give it a second chance, but first I definitely need somebody else to show an alive interest, otherwise it would not make sense.

I intentionally have not invited any friend (just vaguely spoke about it) because I wanted to test if there is any real interest out there, and it seems that this is not entirely the case.

The dimension of the village is something that needs to cohabit together with the dimension of the big city, and it might simply seem to difficult or useless.
I am personally trying to live the two dimensions at my best, share it with others, and later on cultivate practices to have a “connected” life (to ourselves, to the others, to the local environment).

As I said, London is probably not the place where someone who is interested in these things wants to live or move to, even if it anyway offers plenty of great experiences, included “tribal” practices that help know themselves and feel connected to nice communities (I personally had the chance to enjoy some of the best practices of my life!).

It does not make sense to organise another meeting now. I leave this open to anyone who is interested to deepen it. What I mean is that, if you feel called by this concept, let’s meet or chat and build up something together.

The actual village gatherings can come later at a more mature and proper stage.

Love, Michele
ps. thank you a lot anyway for your interest! It gives me very good vibes 🙂