It is in the Nature of The Book of Mistakes that it is better written in Moments of Triumph. The unMo Prototype Matera Grande Opening Party was declared a success – floors were dirtied, bottles emptied, children leapt. It will go down in history as the inaugural ritual summation of the initial phase of our inter-face initiatives. But should it escape a postmortem ?
Our unDeniable accomplishment of becoming a spiritual home for cranks and visionaries and elements of the local post-student drinking classes may be secured; but it is far from given that this converts into meaningful fieldwork. Follow-up is everything.
Conversations were had. In such a little society many of these were vital. If we are generous with ourselves it can be counted as significant that these occurred within the unMoMonastery and not under the usual run of business and pleasure. However, we are duty bound to examine the inevitable howevers…
History will probably let us get away with the blandness of the pasta sauce – the kitchen crew was clearly in deep shock that no sautéed greens had appeared on our doorstep.
It is arguable that the advantage gained with our atrociously innovative polenta at lunch was surrendered to the sheer onslaught of numbers at dinner. We suspect that unconscious sabotage bordering on the prophetic provoked the collective denial of cheese trays to the masses. (This writer confesses to, that as midnight neared, surreptitiously kicking the case of recognisably primo wine brought especially for us by Brother Nico [we presumably insulted his palette upon his previous visit] in behind our executive shopping bag collection in an attempt to save it from external marauding hordes.)
Further questions remain about whether the presentation rounds that formed the heart of the gathering were the success they were meant to be. It was unAvoidable perhaps that we lacked the desired density of unMonasterians to enable for us to catch people on the way out. Follow-up still remains everything.
That which perhaps didn’t acquire its critical mass, was the inauguration of the workshop spaces below. The Return of the Intrepid Bus Passengers drew a full house to both lunch and the following data debrief; while the historical exposé of the unMo dirty laundry, though it did raise an eyebrow or two, failed to immediately provoke the desired revolution. With space at the upstairs presentation at a premium, the use of the streamed version to accommodate the overflow was reportedly too out of sync to perform its primary function. Its secondary function as a playground seems destined to be a perennial hit. The media tables seemed at a distance to function more as an open tech room than an Open Tech School. An imposing desk lay-out and the unilingual “Talk Show” sign may have deflected attempts to negotiate the planned desirable meeting place.
The definitive highlight was our evening ritual — easing the lid upon the revelers we summonsed the willing to one of our newly initiated rooms. The speaking protocol of our Closing Circle was simply presented and the option to comment was proffered some thirty people. Everyone took the opportunity to heart; eager voices waxed eloquently. The community talked with each other through the medium on unMonasticism.
That the dancing was only indulged in by two persons remains our greatest challenge…