Happenstance

Customer Curiosity

So I was heading for a quiet spot to type up my blog post, when I was wonderfully waylayed by the amazing Andrea Davis to check out the Itinerant Poetry Library (TIPL, http://www.tipl.info/). Sara Wingate Grey (@librarian), The Librarian, was skyping with R2 folk from the UK on a couch right outside the bathrooms.

To quote their site, TIPL "The Itinerant Poetry Librarian has been traveling the world with a free public library, installing the library & librarian and archiving the sounds! poems & poetry of the cities, peoples and countries she meets."

I thought I was headed to write a blog post about my morning session on the Customer Curiosity track, but I knew it was time for me to sit down on the couch and skype with The Librarian. After all, this conference isn't about doing what you're supposed to do, it's about doing the unexpected, increasing connection, being curious. 

The Librarian reflected on her travels across North America, sharing poetry with all who would listen. She  said she often had to rely on faith to make it happen, but a place to stay or a ride always came through when she needed it. 

I asked The Librarian to share a story from her travels when she experienced transformation or metamorphosis. The Librarian shared two stories:

A 12 year-old boy came into a San Francisco coffee shop with his older sister where TIPL was in action. He got a TIPL library card and checked out a book of British sound poetry (look it up if you're curious! It's really cool!) A little while later, the boy started reading the poetry aloud with his sister, and the sound-full poetry became an instantaneous performance for the whole room.  

Also in San Francisco, The Librarian found herself walking down Mission Street late one night. A scary man approached. A lady drug dealer across the street recognized The Librarian from a street poetry event the night before. She alerted the scary dude that The Librarian was cool, and saved her hide. 

I am grateful I sat down and didn't let myself get in a rush. The couch experience epitomized my morning more than a recap of the notes I took. Here's my train of thought, based on what I learned from the good folks from Ricochet Ideas on the Customer Curiosity experience, as well as The Librarian and the R2 folks gathered around that couch and laptop: Be disruptive. Create something memorable, be it good or bad (but not forgettable). Share. Don't shut down creativity, let it flow and morph and see what happens. Be responsive to the moment. Be brave. Take a leap of faith. Smile and enjoy the fabulous people you find all around you. Choose love over fear. 

Lots of love,

Aspen