“Be not the first by whom . . .”
I’m not, and even trend more toward “the last to lay the Old aside,” so those who know me might double-take when I mention I’m participating in the Second Annual Conference on Quantum Storytelling. What’s that, they ask, quantum storytelling? It’s as if I really slipped out of the saddle into the NewAge horse trough this time.
I’ll admit I’m still a bit cautious about the title, but my reservations have been attended by my background check on the conveners. David Boje is not only well published, grounded in the same theorists all the rage with our doc students, he’s also a masterful blacksmith. Grace Ann Rosile backs up her academic credentials with the equestrian practice that carries for me about the most convincing and compelling reality check of all.
So what is Quantum Storytelling? I don’t know. Enough. Boje emphasizes “datability” which looks to me like a mini-version of the richly textured phenomena that characterize the research reports I’ve come to value. He also names “little wow moments” because a datability offers a telling bit of “timespacemattering.” A LWM holds clock-tick-seconds that memory, or the heart, makes as eternal as anything I’ve seen in this world.
I can’t give the date for when it happened, but I’m certain that I’ve come to trust not the publication record or the marquee billing, instead I follow the longing in the fiber of my being that keens on integrity. The big-word dropper has to have the smell of fresh rain. When I’ve seen David at the forge and Grace Ann riding in the arena, and when he talks of the lesson of the lent hammer and she of the tending of a spent stallion, then I’m drawn to explore the simultaneous flow of wave and particle in the living story, the antenarrative, the making of social justice in small business.
I’m going because I believe this trip, unlike the huge professional conventions, promises to enrich the experiences like the one that’s still flowing from yesterday’s ride.
I planned to arrive at the arena late, late enough to have limited counsel;
for I doubted that my performance with Leg’cy would stand scrutiny.
For several weeks, she’d been “off” when trotting left with a sort of limp,
and I knew we’re not at the top of our game going any which way.
Yet as chance would have it, my unsolicited advisors had overstayed;
such was the inviting day, warming, and a horse barn brings curiosities,
conversations. So the three coaches soon were advising: more inside flexion,
this way, no, that. How is she today? Looks sound. Push with that inside leg—
Kick if she doesn’t move over. Give on the right rein. Your other right!
Sit up. Steady. It’s not a rocking horse. Breathe, through your hands.
I wasn’t sure in the first quarter-hour if all this direction was helpful.
The work was hard. I like the light touch; they pushed me to be stronger.
Then I began to notice that the affirmations connected with a pattern:
a contact so close as if my fingers were inside her teeth—then release—
as if the holding goes right past a tight rein until the other disappears.
Time, too. That’s timespacemattering. And gone, so delicate, it’s easily
neverwas. A dance notion had flitted in much earlier, but in rhythm
unfamiliar. More strong-strong-strong-soft, than iambs; a different pulse,
seeming inconsistent. Could it be the hand containing us
is pressing more, demanding no more separation of particle from wave?
Since I began this with Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism, it seems apt to conclude likewise, with a few less familiar lines:
‘Tis more to guide than spur the Muse’s Steed;
Restrain his Fury, than provoke his Speed;
The winged Courser, like a gen’rous Horse,
Shows most true Mettle when you check his Course.
I’m going to the Quantum Storytelling Conference with this love of the muse, horsemanship, and I’m checking on our course.