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The Oracle speaks

Day one: Our goal was a de-construction exercise of the concept of wellbeing with front-line health-care providers. I introduced the three-day art-making workshop with a poem that ends with a question :

“… so what if I was was not to be?”

As I chanced a glance at one of the doctors, R, a rather shy character, it slipped so spontaneously out of my mouth, “I have a feeling you will have an answer for me at the end of this workshop”. We made a lot of art over the next three days.

Day three: On the last day, after “witnessing” all the art we produced, now adorning the walls of the workshop room, everyone was asked to write one question on a piece of paper, and then a reply to the same question on a separate paper. Both were folded and kept aside.

Much later, as a last activity in the workshop, we are playing a game called the Oracle. Everyone reads out the question they had previously written down and must guess who from the group has the answer. The chosen participant, the “oracle”, then gives the answer , which is what she had previously written for herself.

The first person to play asked his question: “… so what if I was was not to be?”.

He looks around and then straight to R and asks for an answer. R looks at his answer first and then directly at me and reads what he has written

“ … if I was not to be, it would be you”

The perfect match of question and answer in a random game brought out surprised gasps, some giggles and goose-bumps for me. Such coincidences is what I refer to as the magic of making art in a group. It doesn’t always happen- but when it does, it touches deep our innate knowing of being connected to something bigger than us.

We have no control over these coincidences or synchronicities- we can only prepare the space and sensitise ourselves to the possibility. Such events are, in my opinion, true acts of grace and are often missed if we do not pay attention to what is around us.

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