IN RESPONSE TO THE PRAXICAL POETRY EXERCISE

REFLECTION WITH I

It was difficult to do this today. After the conversation on Skype there was a necessity to exert the Self. It's important to recognise that as Pennebaker's research* has established, the greatest predictor of health was people’s choice of pronouns. He has established that people who display self-­assurance have a lower frequency of I-words, so when we have lower self-assurance we tend to try to regain some with the use of the I. In the conversation with my new friend , the true Vagabond, Barnabas, it became particularly difficult to avoid it. What is interesting is how much more tricky it is in Spanish, considering how the subject is conjugated into the verb, making it very difficult to escape. It was consequently clear that I was speaking too much from my ego, which was readily identified by him, as is clear at the beginning of the conversation. I think it would have been wise to tell him that I was trying to avoid the subject in my speech, as well as acknowledge it when it arose, which indeed was a requisite of the activity which I forgot about.

*It's well worth carrying out the exercises on his website, which I came across after I had come up with my own ideas on the same issue.

REFLECTION WITHOUT I

The exercise of the poem was valuable. Action 2 was particularly exciting as although there was a lack of presentation to the public as such, it was nevertheless surprising to discover the almost total absence of anxiety in some kind of public performance. It became clear that what is crucial is precisely to ignore the public as such and, in a sense, engage in the act purely for its own sake. Indeed, this is part of this overall project which is to discourage passivity in the audience by disregarding its presence.

It was frustrating how much the ego arose in the conversation with Barnabas at the beginning. It was also reassuring how much this annoyed him as it ensured a focus on the need to avoid it. It was reassuring to see how little he referred to the I in his speech. Interesting when one would tend to think of the homeless as those lacking self-assurance, or considering themselves as a lower status or less happy etc. Regardless the value of this type of action is clear and needs to be further pursued in order to make clearer the differences it reveals with respect to the nature of the content developed and communicated when it is freed from authorship.