This Saturday Christina Amini and I listened to people’s dreams. Some shared their life dreams, others reflected on what they hoped the day would bring; we even heard a dream from the previous night. We liked hearing every one.
But before we headed out, we had to resolve a very important question: what would we wear? Since both of our Pep Talk jackets are lost in storage somewhere, we were forced to devise a new look. We settled on matching yellow shirts with iron-on felt letters spelling it out. I WILL LISTEN. Perfect. We call our look “just nerdy enough.”
Every time we create a space to listen to people wearing weird get-ups, it’s like learning how to interact for the first time. Each place – whether a gallery, park, parking lot, grocery store etc – presents its uniqueness. How do people use this place? Where do people gather? Do we look just strange enough so people will talk to us or will they more likely run away? Part of the fun is experimenting with a place until we get people interested in talking to us.
The original plan was to sit on the floor pillows in the gallery and invite visitors to talk with us. But the dynamic proved unsuccessful – people were literally looking down at us, and maybe this subconsciously sent a message to their brains to maintain their power in the relationship – and not come down to our level. We were also competing with an amazing spring day, so we moved outside.
Outside offered possibility.
We met several people and listened to their dreams.
We met this couple listening to classical music on their iPhone. Music was their dream. Even though she showed musical promise as a young person, her mom discouraged her to pursue music – it wasn’t serious enough. Even so, music continues to be a vital part of her life and their life as a couple. So, Christina wrote this for them:
We gave each person a typed-up dream on an index card with a yellow painted frame. We hope each person would pin-up their dream as a reminder to her/himself.
We love how people are so surprised by this process – maybe surprised that someone listened, that we are serious in this endeavor (in spite of our funny shirts and traveling typewriter). Maybe the surprise is with themselves: now their words committed to paper, their dream is within their reach.
Dream on and thanks for reading.