Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Rhythmic ripples

As part of a two-day research meeting, we took part in a workshop. It involved everyone, each in a solitary way. We each had to pour ourselves a glass of water, but not the glasses that most of us were already drinking from. Smaller tumblers were issued. We were asked not to drink the water straight away, but to "experience" the glass of water... like a meditation. We had to spend five minutes experiencing the glass of water. So I suspended my disbelief and cynicism, and reached out my hand to grasp my glass gently, without picking it up. I could see rhythmic ripples on the surface, very small, some of which may have been my pulse. Interlaced with this was another rhythm, perhaps caused by my neighbour tapping his foot. Bigger, less rhythmic ripples occurred from time to time as another neighbour adjusted his position. I saw the ceiling lights reflected on the surface, and refracted below the surface, reflecting off the inside of the glass. There were 28 different points of light, in groups of two or three, on the surface. Below the surface there were 58. Then the five minutes were up and I'd not yet taken a sip. Too slow, me.

The next part of the workshop involved running your tongue over all of your teeth, inside and out, all surfaces of the teeth that could be reached with the tongue. I cannot now recall how long that went on for. We were given a piece of A4 drawing paper and a pencil. Then we had to close our eyes, put the pencil on the paper, and envision our mouths. We then signed consent forms for our drawings to be used as part of a research project on art in healthcare. That was our workshop experience. Puzzling, eh?

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Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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