It’s Friday night and everyone is gathered at the dinner table, creating a steady stream of chatter that, based on the past week, should last well into the night. I believe mealtimes are as much part of the collaborative process as the rest of the activities, and I first thought this at lunch the other day. Everyone gets into a rhythm of preparing food for themselves, but there’s still a strong sense of community as everyone helps toast bread or make coffee or salad enough for sharing or pass the strainer around for the instant noodles. This basic activity of helping each other out, which is so natural and like clockwork by this time, really felt like a collaboration to me. Funnily enough, as soon as I thought that in my head, Cat beside me sighed, “I love lunch.” Even the sentiment was unanimous.
Dinner time is another kind of ritual, more communal than lunch, because those who can cook gather around, plan out the courses (“I could make a salad with mushrooms and basil and convince Jerome to make a lovely vinaigrette,” says Leigh. “I’m preparing parsnips and can make a cottage cheese or feta sauce,” says Doris. “I can make a stirfry with these other vegetables,” says Fu Kuen. “I can make a bread pudding with all this leftover bread,” says Helen. “And Joelle can write about our cross culinary collaboration in the blog!” says Leigh.), cook these gorgeous meals and just keep the discussion going. Tonight was about having and raising children, sprung up from Doris and Ly Ly sharing notes.
The general introductions are over and discussions for collaborations are officially on, as of tomorrow. Of course, we’ve started this unofficially, with Latai’s ice experiment yesterday and Jerome discussing with Simon on a project they could do together. There’s a different kind of energy today, perhaps more chatter from the dinner table? Energies that were not depleted by the trip to the river this morning (pictures tomorrow!), it would seem.
But then, we’re dancers. The promise of more movement just stimulates us further. Or as Cat excitedly says, “Less talking, more doing!”
Tomorrow also, I would be done with all the introduction profiles and give proper documentation of the activities of the last couple of days. Documentation is hard! I want to see everything happening, and yet, when do I have time to write about it? It’s a Catch 22 is what it is.
I leave this blog now to join the rest of the chatter outside, before Helen calls me, Doris and Leigh for our nightly wombat spotting activity (our treks to our cottages just outside Bundanon). So good night and see you tomorrow 🙂