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Posts tagged ‘conversation’

Conversation time: Your thoughts?

In life I want to…. [insert your goal/dream here]

was exactly how I started the hour-long online session that was the first of UCLA’s ‘Conversations with TEDx Speakers‘ series. You may ask- Laura, did you do a TEDx talk? Did I miss that?? well, not yet you didn’t. It *was* scheduled for 30 May, and then COVID-19 happened. You probably have things that were put on hold too?  … hold that thought (whatever it is you’re thinking)…

See, my [insert your goal here] thought might have been my TEDx talk. I have lots of goals – imagine like when sunlight shines through a solitaire cut crystal and there are suddenly rainbows everywhere – yep, that’s how I am with dreams and goals. Giving the TEDx talk was definitely a big rainbow of mine. I had the airplane ticket on hold, accommodation planned, the talk drafted (with several versions of improvements), and I even knew what I was going to wear – and yes, each bit of clothing had a story – not that anyone would know that, but I had thought it through. Yes, life changed. No, my goals have not gone away.

What about your goals now?

These are strange times, and figuring them out takes thought and action from each of us. I do not mean ‘go get ’em’ action, but mental processing to understand the situation, how you fit in it, what it means, where now, and what on earth comes next? These things impact us all.

Let’s keep the conversation going.

I want to talk; I want to think; and I want to engage. In times of isolation, more than ever we need to conscientiously reach out.

Let’s start with the online conversation UCLA hosted, and then let’s go from there:

UCLA Conversations with TEDx Speakers: Dr. Laura Ritchie from Visual Arts on Vimeo.

Since this conversation aired, the research project I mentioned has been drafted and submitted as  a paper for peer review. Honestly I can say that even since then life has changed. There is no ‘new normal’. Nope. There is every day. Every morning a new day unfolds and sometimes there are great days where, like the best of times, rainbows of thoughts shoot out with every breath as the day dawns, and other days where well, breakfast is cookies because I can’t really face another Wheatabix or bit of stale toast, and I know there’s no grocery shopping scheduled for almost a whole week yet.

Adapting to a genuinely new situation is not something many people are actually prepared for.

(why would they be?) When you do figure it out a bit, then even on the days when it’s cookies for breakfast because they were there and you didn’t think you could face anything that took effort, you can find a way to look at them and think – damn! I got *cookies* for breakfast! 🙂 You can find a rainbow in the smallest, simplest of things.

Although the earth has been shaken, and on very practical levels we need to be sensible and direct attention to solving the problem of infection and disease, I look forward to new ways of being, doing, and seeing that are indeed not normal.

  • Have you developed strategies for being or doing that are different to before?

I believe in ideas (yours and mine) and I believe they are worth sharing.

  • What came out of the conversation above for you?

  • Are there topics you would like discussed?

Join in. I don’t think this is over, and there’s a long way to go to understand and navigate what has become a pivotal moment in all our lives. I invite you to take the time to comment, say what you think, and be part of the conversation.



Making connections: speaking through the fabric of music

Musical connections are a lot like any other connections. (4 min read) We need to experience them, process, and attribute meaning to them, and that is something that we all get better at with time and practice. There’s that practice word again… This post is inspired by this week’s topic Session 4: Studies and connecting material, and I wanted to liken it to conversation and listening, but there are differences. Although both are aural – spoken word and musical sound, we tend to engage with one very differently to the other. In speech there is a fluid dynamic. It is knowingly experimental and sometimes messy – wait, I didn’t mean that… no, no, it’s more like this… – In conversation it is entirely acceptable to present ideas and change them, or to present ideas and realise that they lacked clarity and then need to add detail. Read more