I often dip in and out of my library resources for inspiration – thoughts that might add a spark or element to a workshop that may or may not be useful on the day.  This morning I opened  Margaret Wheatley’s Turning to One Another and found an extract from a poem.

don’t establish the



the squares, triangles


of preconceievd


and then


life into them, trimming

off left-over edges,

ending potential:

A facilitation application?  Of course.  I started thinking about templates as boundaries.  I have found and do find templates can be useful at times** - particularly in large scale – empty and open – waiting to be filled as thinking develops in the room.  These short lines prompted some ‘cautious thinking’ about their future application – a need to understand what one might be preventing by introducing boundaries, however apparently slight.

I went on the hunt for more information about A R Ammons.  Among other sources was a 2006 Poetry Daily item.

David Lehman edited A R Ammons: Selected Poems in which he noted that the long poem –  Tape for the Turn of a Year – was “a diary in skinny lines which he typed on a roll of adding-machine tape, the width of the tape serving as the arbitrary but fixed restraint determining the shape of the poem.”   He apparently stopped writing this daily chronicle when he got to the end of the tape.  Hmmm.  “abitrary but fixed restraint”……

My take?  Boundaries are everywhere.  Notice if  I am applying them and understand their potential impacts and / or benefits.

**  I am reminded of the oft repeated words of Sam Kaner in one of his workshops – “It depends”.

Lynn Walsh – workshop and meeting facilitator – Sydney, Australia

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