Observation

 

 

There is a rhythm here,                     of how life unfolds each day. 

There is a rhythm here. 

 

If you stay, you adjust to this rhythm, you feel it in your heart and your bones.

 

“Salaam alaykum, 

La bas, 

 

bikher, 

Kolchi bikher

alhamdullah”                                          

 

“alhamdullah,

kolchi messian? 

kolchi bikhir alhamdullah” 

 

The warm shake of the hand and the touch of the heart - a greeting I have observed time and time again since I arrived in Morocco and one which touches me every time.  There is a ritual in greetings here, it is important, calling on God to bless you and your family, this is one of the first things you learn - how important it is to greet everyone, to bless them and their family - this before anything.

 

Knowledge in sounds - what is knowledge in sounds?

 

The sounds, the sounds are what impact me the most.

Like being a child again, sitting just outside of understanding, but yet feeling safe, watching a learning from the adults in the room.  They way they move, the sounds they make, the ebb and flow between them, raising of voices and laughter erupting when the story tickles and delights its audience.

 

I lie down onto the earthen floor and I feel surrounded overwhelmed with a belonging that I have needed.

 

I surrender to it, I don’t try to push my way into the conversation, I want to listen to the rhythm, watch the interactions, try and guess and make up the story that is unfolding in front of me.

 

Watching, observing, learning and creating stories in my head of what is being exchanged.

 

Human connection and community.

 

The language is very percussive… and is often broken with a song and laughter.

 

This is very different from my world and my life and my understanding.  The newness the unknown is refreshing, I can free my mind, as I don’t know what will happen next, when it will happen or even why it will happen.  I just watch. Remain open. Use everything.

 

 

I watch at the suited white men arrive and take their place around the board table.  The room is unfriendly, white walls, empty, no character, no soul.  This is where the business will take place, because business is serious and business requires no distraction.

 

Each position is filled.  Some lean back in their chairs, legs wide open, chest exposed by arms that hang down beside them, like a teenager who doesn’t care what you think, if they could chew gum they would, whilst staring aggressively directly at you.

 

Another, opens his laptop and continues to work, announcing his status as far too important to even be present, so much to do, no time.

Then next, like a young car salesman, excited, with leg bouncing up and down, too much coffee? nervous? or impatient…

 

I have worked in an all white male environment for many many years.  As an outsider I have had to find ways to operate in their domain, a way to ‘not be seen’ as a female, so just sitting at the edge of ugly, or covering up my body, or a threat, be clever, but not too clever.  If either of these situations have occurred, this was the point that I was no longer required to attend decision meetings… observing a surveying the savannah is a skill that I have developed, a skill for survival, but a skill that now serves me well in navigating the world, from different cultures, and different organisations, to different groups.

 

Notice more, let go, use everything. (Poynton 2013)

© 2019 by Creative Den Foundation.