Anti-Leading Chicken

Straight up in bed

My friend brought to my attention that he was going to give a workshop/presentation during the Embodiment Conference. I did not know so well what this would be about. But hey, for a friend, of course I would go online.

Online, but did not dress my self at the early hour of 0700 AM. So very cosy, very warm bed, dim lights I was prepared to watch the session. My first zoom meeting in pyjamas. He used a very special theater form, called Butoh. Japanese, slower than slow, twisted body expressions.

Having seen Butoh before, I felt the same senses again. Curious, uncomfortable, admiring, not-understanding, hasty, contradictions. The movements are an expression of rebellion. Not following mainstream. Against forms and you should know, how important form means in the Japanese culture.

So when he bridged this concept to this very moment of presentatioin, he explained this theater group acted against all what was present then. A loud shout out: Anti Form.

How loud was loud? My friend elaborates: the group made this statement in 1956.  On stage.  By suffocating a chicken. Voila! An Anti-Leading Framework avant la lettre :-D

Image planted in my brain. My concentration for my friend was hijacked by a chicken. A chicken that was Anti-Form. How bizarre, how refreshing! The Chicken never left me ever after. 

Read more about Butoh.

The Door

You and I have known each other for 5 months or so. Calculated in friendship, you live close to my heart. I hope you like that place.

I listen to your stories. Not only do I listen, I watch and like you jumping in gaps, playing your ukelele, singing to the Zoom camera. And laugh with me.

When I listen, I listen with attention. I go slow-motion. Words, sentences and tones enter my concentration. I hang them as freshly washed laundry at laundry lines. Wind can play with them, I would never lose them. Who could lose a sentence as: ... and then they suffocated a chicken! Equals butoh.

Although I have only seen 1 or 2 butoh performances, they have always intrigued me. These 2 are also on the laundry lines. Have been there for 29 years by now. There is one other word, that also hung there. And you said it two days ago: 間 (ma) Explaining to me, that it is the moment between two breaths.

Instantly my memory hit me with all that I know about this word. I first shared with you: that 間 (ma) has entered the corporate world. Perhaps via mindfulness or change processes. When leaders and changemakers want to change organizations - or is it people? - there are pockets of time, that the IST-situation is no more, but the SOLL situation has not arrived. Being in this space - let’s call it 間 (ma) - is freaking people out. No reason for that actually. But it happens.

Would it comfort them, if they knew how 間 (ma) is composed in Japanese. I should say in kanji. Here I bridge it for you to Chinese. This is how it is written. It is composed of 2 parts:

Part 1 is this picture: 門 door 

Part 2 is this: 日sun or day 日

You recognize from 日本

When combined, I like the image of the door being closed, but I have to open it and the first beams of the sun come in. I love the expectation that the sun will come in - or not :-D I would call that 間 (ma).

I could also create the image of shutting the door, keeping the warm, positive sun out. Because I want to be inside. In the 間 (ma).

Either way, when you come at my door and knock twice. I will come and open the door.