Upon arrival I was given a piece of paper listing the workshops and was told I could only pick 3 – which was difficult because they all looked so fascinating I wanted to attend all of them! I made my choices as quickly as possible, collected my tickets and chatted with some of my classmates over a cup of tea whilst watching the canteen fill up with other brave souls who’d ventured out on this cold morning.
Titled: A Writer’s Journey, Robin told us a couple of stories of experiences he had in the past where a change occurred. He then gave us ten minutes to jot down an example of our own siting an incident in our own lives where a shift occurred. Once finished about half the class read theirs out and there was strangely a constant theme in all of them. The stories could be distilled to an assumption being made about a person and then that opinion changing through an opening of the teller’s heart. We discussed this then derived a ‘three act’ formula of preconceived notions (with baggage), disembodiment and then reconstruction which is prevalent in all the stories shared in the workshop and indeed in the mythical stories we are told.
A slightly distracting moment came when William appeared mid-session with a camera in his hand. I thought he may have been taking promotional pictures for the school, but whilst I was making an observation to the class the camera pointed in my direction and there was no flash…so I think I was videoed… Let’s hope it looked like I knew what I was talking about…
Lunch followed the second session and it was a chance to catch up with some classmates and meet some new people. The general consensus was the day had so far proved to be inspirational and we were all eagerly anticipating our final sessions.
The day closed after another address by William asking us for our observations (and revelations) around the day. Various people volunteered to share their experiences and some of the speakers were volunteered by William himself to share their views. Robin made a point that whilst writing for East Enders they began to form the plots around Greek myths and as a result the ratings shot up. At this point the microphone was placed in my hand and I was asked to share. (Eek!)
I nervously reiterated what others had mentioned about the day that the ancient myths are still relevant in modern times, highlighting the oneness of our world. How we are all connected, functioning as one being and the worst goal we could aspire to was to willingly separate ourselves from that whole. We were given a great example of this by John had described during his workshop, when a cell in the body decides it no longer wants to maintain its function, breaks away and starts attacking other cells, the end result is cancer.
Upon handing the microphone back I turned to a woman I had been chatting with during the course of the day with a wide eyed ‘what-the-heck-did-I-just-say’ face and she just said ‘well done’. (Thanks Anne). As we finished and then started packing chairs away Robin (who was sitting behind me) also commended me on what I said. I was almost giddy after that – I so wish I could remember exactly what I said!
This is an extremely brief synopsis of a very full day. I was energised as I made my way home, seeing the good in others once again, and being excited about the potential of things to come, not bogged down by the insignificant details.
My philosophy group have started a whatsapp group where we post pictures and inspirational quotes around the Part III theme of Love. Those from my class who attended sent messages of thanks to this group to which I had to chime in with ‘Engaging, enlightening and entertaining. Many thanks indeed’.