It sounded like this. That’s the clacking of a typewriter operated by a London street poet I hired on a recent sunny afternoon in the Bankside district along the Thames. I was just feeling inspired do something creative in that moment, even if it meant outsourcing the work. After all, I had just visited the Tate Modern gallery with several wonderful colleagues, strolled by the Globe Theatre of Shakespearean fame, and attended the fabulous #OER17 conference in London. But also I was a little jet lagged, which made my poet’s appearance the perfect answer to my creative urges. All he needed from me was a title, and I gave it to him after about two seconds’ thought: “Being Open.” The title came naturally, emerging out of the endless discussions many of us engaged in during and after the conference.
After alternately gazing into the sky and clacking on the typewriter, he tore the sheet from the typewriter’s carriage, read it aloud, and then handed it to me. He seemed quite pleased with it. As for me, I was delighted.
It captured the right things for me. It fluidly blended boundaries of openness and genesis. It hinted at the promise of careful transparency. It recognized the necessity of opening up to and hearing from others, and suggested new life, new things to come. It seemed perfect for the moment, especially given the boundary-stretching discussions about openness we experienced at #OER17.
I’m sure others will see more, less, or just other things in this poem. But I can feel it kicking.