Dreamworld Report: Giftival – Day 4

In the night before the last day of Giftival I had a strange and disturbing dream. Kind of in two parts. At the beginning of the dream I was learning that I had just crashed a train head-on into another train. I was really freaked out and worried, but learned that noone had been hurt. I was still worried about getting in trouble but that was looking less likely.

The next and more intense part of the dream began when I bit or tore my fingernail (4th finger, right hand) really low and it was hurting like it does when that happens. Then I looked closely and saw two tiny microchips sticking out a little bit from under the skin. I was completely freaked out. I started thinking through how I might be able to dig them out with something sharp, and thinking about how much that would hurt. I knew that I wanted to let someone know and try to get help but was really worried about putting anyone in danger. I was assuming that if there were microchips in there they were recording everything around me. I decided to write a note to my partner, Jon, and then destroy the evidence. I looked all over for paper and a pen and found an old receipt in my car.

I put the receipt on the trunk of the car as a writing surface, and started trying to write “DON’T REACT” in big letters on top, to keep Jon from saying anything at all that could tip off the microchip listeners to the fact that either of us would know about the chip. But the paper had little wet spots on it that kept causing the pen to tear it.

During a few frustrating tries at writing I woke up, then prepared to start the 4th and final day of Giftival…

For the check-in this day Filiz mentioned there were rumors of strange dreams in the night, and asked us to share them if we wished. At first I didn’t want to share mine because it didn’t seem in the spirit of Giftival, or especially relevant. But upon about one second of IMG_0478reflection I realized it was extremely relevant, and a great representation of the day I’d had on Day 3. And in case it’s not obvious why I feel it’s relevant – both parts really reflect the clash of cultures I felt the day before, and the chip I needed to get out felt very much like all the separation, scarcity and formalization programming I was/am suffering from. And all that said, it sounded really funny to report it and some of us had a good laugh as I did.

I honestly don’t remember the details of the other dreams shared (sorry!) but they were all considerably more lovely..

IMG_0480Then we had a discussion about what gifts people had received so far. There was a lot of emphasis on stories, the value of learning each other’s stories, the value of sharing things as stories rather than putting them into academic or theoretical terms. Munir, from Palestine, committed to working to bring people from Cairo and Istanbul, particularly the uprisings in both places, together to share stories. He also expressed a deep desire to re-weave the social fabric of the middle east.

Genevieve Vaughan gave a talk about mothering and the gift economy. She’s been writing and speaking for decades on this topic. I loved when she said she’d had her head buried in a computer writing about this stuff and then looked up and it was happening. I also liked when she said ‘money is vibing us’

The next activity was probably my favorite from Giftival. And it really helped pull things together for me, quite beautifully contributing to the arc of the gathering.

Judith, a storyteller from France who has made Turkey her home for the last 11 years. led us through an exercise in Tekerleme. Tekerleme apparently means a couple things in Turkish – one is a simple tongue-twister. Another is an absurdist or surreal long introduction to a story being told. We were working with the latter. Judith shared that a tekerleme often starts with a line like “There was and there was not…” or contains something in it that turns time on its head, like “when I was rocking my mother’s cradle”. And then it contains a lot of paradox. Judith told a beautiful one that had her getting lost for seven years inside a giant watermelon, then finding her way out only to find that it had crushed her home and village. It was very elaborate and beautiful, and Judith is an amazing storyteller.

Judith asked us to sit with our own paradoxes and come up with a tekerleme to express them. This was the perfect exercise for pulling together the sometimes difficult thoughts and feelings that had arisen for me in Giftival. My paradoxes centered on wanting to build a new bank so people would no longer need banks or money. I also had a fleeting out of nowhere thought “forget how to swim and learn to love drowning” – which resonated later for me when Bayo shared that his paradoxes involved embracing death as another beautiful part of life.

giftival_bookI actually didn’t write a tekerleme during this exercise, I just kind of felt incapable. But after we shared with small groups and Judith gave an example, one flowed out really fast and easy. Not sure yet if I’ll write it out here (in a later post if I do, it’s almost time for bed) or if I’ll just keep it to myself, in my little giftival book.

During lunch we had another open space session. I went to learn about Edgard’s game Play the Call. Amazing!!! I won’t go into it too much here because it won’t be totally publicly available until later this winter, but I will say that it’s tremendously exciting. It will be a global game of connection and regeneration and I can’t wait until it’s really in full swing. Everyone who went to his sessions seemed to feel the same way. Rock on Edgard!

IMG_0455  More discussion and reports on open space sessions (and maybe the discussion of the gifts we’re taking with us happened here instead of the morning where I put it before, but it’s all a blur at the moment).  And we watched the lovely trailer of Robin’s film The Gift, and the video from Edgard’s game Play the Call.

After a traditional Turkish song Burcu served up a gorgeous and delicious cake she had made!IMG_0466

And then a leisurely, emotional and beautiful close where we all shared IMG_0459whatever we wanted to about what we got from Giftival, what we’ll give to the world as a result, etc. I was moved to tears many times. And reminded that we’ll all be staying connected in various ways.

For my close I spoke the words of a song I wrote at the beginning of my journey into sharing economics, Your Foolish Heart.

And so it goes
or so I’m told
Your foolish heart
is good as gold

When what you sow
is all your dreams
They’ll sprout up soon
or so it seems

like yesterday
on Granddad’s knee
you learned to play
He got to see

to it you’d
do what you’d wanted to do every day
and he knew
You’d got nothing better to do anyway

up in the sky
a birdie sings
He likes to fly
He loves his wings

And while he sings
a horse goes by
with one fine thing
o’er either eye

and close behind
a carriage trails
‘I am not blind’
they horsey wails

‘Do what you wanted to do every day
They’ve got nothing better for you anyway

out in the field
your mother sighs
as one more meal
around her dies

and while she cries
the birdie sings
that once you fly
You’ll get your wings

And so it goes
or so I’m told
Your foolish heart
is good as gold

We danced again, cleaned up quickly, then went out and had a party on a boat on the Bosphorus River! The Zumbara cooks packed up a fantastic feast and we ate, drank wine and Raki, and danced on the deck. What a perfect ending.  Oh yeah, almost forgot about the after-party at the bar, where the game with the balls was played. Perfect after-ending.

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