I've been in Eugene Oregon for the last week or so, answering an invitation by the extraordinary Tree Bressen who'd asked me to join her and a dozen others to explore the idea of pattern language in group process arts. Given my work with the World Cafe, which is based on the pattern language of its seven design principles, and the pattern language project I'm involved in with the Power of Place Collaborative, the invitation was definitely intriguing.
My personal interest in the subject goes beyond the specifics of group process arts, in that I'm looking for a pattern language for catalyzing collective transformation online. I'd hoped we would touch on that as well, given the presence of the inspired visionary Tom Atlee and the 3-4 other folks who also work online - John Abbe, Kaliya Hamlin, Bill Aal & John Kelly. Obviously I didn't read the invitation closely enough, since that didn't happen, but I wasn't disappointed (and I haven't given up on the idea of a pattern language for collective transformation either).
As it turned out, the idea of actually coming up with a pattern language for the process arts was far too ambitious for even a full week together, but it was well worth our time to learn what we did about the process of co-evolving the beginnings of a pattern language for this field. There is ongoing work being done to collaboratively evolve the project and share it with others, so stay tuned for more.
One of the most exciting parts of the journey, however, was the snowstorm that came in with me - four inches the night I arrived - and stayed the whole week, turning the roads into an ice rink and the scenery into a winter wonderland. The snow-covered lawns and trees were exquisite, so pristine and lovely in the mornings and glistening with drama in the evenings next to the Christmas lights of the houses. All this snow was a totally unexpected and unusual occurrence for the Oregonians, and an especially delightful treat for this California girl.