"And when you're writing at your best, that's like..." with John Davis

In this experimental dialogue, John Davis leads a small group in a Clean Language exercise to discover our individual metaphors for when we’re “writing at our best.” This talk is geared for writers and other creative artists, but can be expanded to any endeavor where we might model our own best metaphors for effective participation.


John Davis
Marco V Morelli
Caroline Savery
Ed Mahood


Note: This recording is raw and unedited.



[download mp3]

###Machine Transcript

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Hi @johnnydavis54: I saw that you had replied here with some beautiful (inspired) suggestions, and I had been meaning to reply, but couldn’t get to a “clean space” within myself to do so, due to a seizure of preoccupations that consumed me the past few days.

You talked about transparency and the Gebser conference and working with clean space…

Well, I’d love to explore further and do another session (maybe in a couple weeks?), as you suggested, if you’re still up for it…

I’ll try to respond more nimbly in the future! Sometimes I can’t help the forces that overtake me, but I always seem emerge a little clearer if I see this process though. Timing, of course, though, is everything. :upside_down_face:

Thanks Marco for your response. I make it a practice to delete posts after a few days because I don’t like having too many open loops for too long. I find it distracting and as my attention span is not as flexible as it once was I like to limit myself to what is close at hand. As always when the timing is right I trust further opportunities to collaborate will happen. Blessings!

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OK, John, that’s good to know, and it sounds like a smart practice. I don’t like having too many open loops either. It definitely drives me batty. Loops proliferate, some live, some die… Glad we can let opportunities come and go as our timing fluxes…

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Independent scholars have a hard time doing social research without the set up of a college campus where you can recruit people easily. The Gebser event I mentioned in the deleted post will be in September and Jeremy has a deadline for abstracts by 7/9. I had thought about the possibility of doing some cross fertilizing between groups but I may not have enough time to do that.

But we can plan another session in two weeks. Clean Space I find very helpful for generating new perspectives. You can choose an issue, a concern or a desired outcome. I imagine that the process may take about an hour and we can add it to the archive. Clean Space could greatly facilitate an understanding of Bubbles. The parallels are pretty obvious. Are Tuesdays best for you?

Hi Johnny, part of me wants to submit an abstract for an idea I’ve had for a while called “Open-Sourcing the Origin,” which would be a take on how people can use digital tech (especially free software, and associated philosophies about the open web–in contradistinction to ‘walled gardens’) to facilitate an experience of transparency in groups…but I don’t feel confident that I can write the paper in time, with the other things I’d like to accomplish in the next few months. We’ll see if I get a sudden burst of inspiration…I would like to visit NY again. I’m just not sure I can pull it off without overcommitting myself. Ah well…

How about we do your proposed session on Tuesday, July 18th? 1 or 2 pm EDT?

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Tuesday 18th 2pm would be great. If you come to NY lets make a plan.

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I just wanted to let you know that I’ve got to attend a parent-evening for the grandson’s kindergarten. I am, after all, the go-to guy for all things educational in our household. Duty calls.


Hey Ed! Marco and I are partnered for this Clean Space research project . Hopefully in the future we can create a forum so that you and others might participate. In the meantime enjoy your day!