January's Circle of Curious Complexity

January Circle of CC meetup TIME

A few evenings ago at the Circle of Curious Complexity, a space for forward-thinking leaders/doers and deep thinkers - we reflected on: TIME.

After checking in with names, pronouns and what brought us here, a group of us, most of whom hadn’t been to the Circle in-person before, wrote down questions, one per card, that we thought would help us have a conversation about our relationship to time.

We shuffled the cards, turned one over, and talked about it.

Then, when the time felt right, we turned over another.

There were twenty-seven (I’ve posted them here as writing prompts) and we didn't get through even a quarter of them!

Questions we explored were:

- How do you feel about time?

- How much does the past matter?

- Imagine time as a town. The present is home. How often do you visit other places in the town? What’s the furthest you’ve travelled?

- What are the times and place when time feels like your enemy? Or your friend?

- What was your favourite age? What if you could go back?

The conversation ranged across really different perspectives on time (‘You see it as a FRIEND?’), our relationships with our past and future selves, trauma, what the past and future are like for trans people, how far we can ‘safely’ look into our own future… It was a LOT.

As always, at a Circle meetup, the mood of the conversation is thoughtful, tender at times, warm, kind and, well, curious.

We did a bit of reflecting on this format of meeting - discussing a topic via questions as a whole group (it was the first time) - and we said it uncovered a lot of intriguing stuff, it felt a times a bit ‘heady’. We might involve some more embodied activities - maybe walking whilst contemplating a question, or placing a question card somewhere and feeling where we literally stand in relation to it

The Circle - always experimental!

If you want to be part of the Circle you can do two things:

(1) Participate virtually by focusing on the theme - either in your head or by writing/making etc. If you do write/make something, let me know/tag me in and I’ll spread the word.

(2) If you’re in or near Birmingham, UK, come along to the in-person meetups. We have a more structured meetup once a month (like the one I just described) and because getting to know each other is also important, we have a Circle supper too.

The next Circle supper is this Thursday 31st Jan from 6.30ish-9.00pm at Comptoir Libanais, Grand Central, which is part of Birmingham New Street station.

The venue has step-free access and there’s an accessible loo on the same floor. Also if you need/want to go for a walk at any point, it’s in the middle of the mall, so plenty of warm space to go for a wander. You can turn up whenever and go whenever. :)

I’ll lay on some mezze for the table, so coming along won’t need to cost you anything, but if you want extra, feel free to order your own food.

Suppers are super-informal - we’ll maybe explore some of the questions about time that we didn’t get around to at the Meetup, but mainly it's hanging out with lovely people.

Look forward to seeing/reading you soon!