On containers

I’m sitting on the terrace of WeWork, on Elizabeth Street. It’s a hollow space in the middle of the buildings. On the terrace, chairs and tables create further hollows. Members come and go, alone or in small groups, using those chairs and tables for focus and connection.   

Facilitators talk about ‘containers’. We create and hold a hollow space, so that new thoughts can manifest, or new groups of people bond. This requires a certain lay out of the room – chairs, tables, whiteboards. It also requires a structuring of the time spent together. Instructions, like a game, and time boundaries. It requires physical presence, keeping the boundaries to contain the flow.

Tool making comes in two forms. We sharpen the knife and the spear, true – but we also shape hollows, by molding the clay, bending the wood, or weaving the thread. Shields and walls define a safe internal space, where we can evolve. Birds know that, who weave nests. The home is a primordial tool, before the sword and arrow. This is where new life emerges.

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