Connective Tissue

It was as an undergrad university student that I remember first learning about the corpus callosum, the connective tissue that links the left and right hemispheres of our brains. I was at the University of Alberta in the early 1980s. I was studying psychology. One of my grandmothers had taught me before about typical differences in left brain and right brain. I remember my professor marveling about the millions of connections that help these two hemispheres (I thought of it as two brains) talk to each other. Without the connective tissue we are very different humans.

That image of the corpus callosum has remained with me through these years. A bit like an old postcard buried underneath papers and pens and scissors and paperclips and rubber bands in a junk drawer — I don’t think of it every day, but it is there. The corpus callosum — the connective tissue — has proven really helpful as I’ve tried to understand more about energetic fields in groups of people meeting, learning, and planning together. You see, I’ve hosted many groups over the years (sheesh — decades). I’ve hosted many circles. I’ve hosted many times when I’ve been trying to understand more about what is happening in those groups that feels so energizing. Why are they connected so well? What further questions will help connect the group? What will help them / us move our attention to actions and experiments?

I have observed many times the phenomenon that is, “when together, it all seems so clear. But then when apart, what once was so clear, becomes much more difficult to remember.” I’ve felt silly. What’s wrong with my brain. With groups, thinking about designs for upcoming workshops, feeling it is crystal clear and that I don’t even need to write it down (or save writing it down until after the workshop). More times that not, I’ve lost the clarity after the workshop. A bit like losing the dream that felt so unforgettable in the the night that is completely beyond awareness a mere thirty minutes later in waking. The connection is gone. The connection to a kind of group knowing.

Energetic fields are like that. In short, I believe that interaction emits energy (never mind good or bad or other for the moment). Interaction — conversations, sharing stories, asking questions, playing. I feel like my work, a layer of the deeper work, is so often about hosting a container to help organize the energy of many interactions. It’s creating a kind of connective tissue. A corpus callosum. The group brain connected to itself, if only even for a momentary experience that can be remembered later.

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