On Writing

I wrote in my original wiki for about a year before it began to feel a sense of wholeness. Some 450 pages that held the deeper learning of my experience of bringing the essence of agile to education.

It was then that Ward began to help me visualize the relationship of these pages, the patterns of meaning. This visualization was a breakthrough for me.

Writing in the wiki allowed me to reimagine what it meant to make meaning. I began to understand meaning-making as Holonic in nature, a Poetry of Patterns. Each word was a holon, a container of meaning. I would honor that, seeking a good that might delight.

Each paragraph, as a plugin, a moveable block, was a holon. A good that might delight.

Each page, a holon in an emerging holarchic structure.

The story arc with connected concepts in a garden

And then patterns of increasing complexity began to emerge, as concepts clumped into clusters around anchors that revealed the richness of a garden whose deeper meaning was unfolding.

An image based on a premise that we all make meaning on a plane of consciousness. This meaning starts from a place of our truth. A center point. The zero point. The wellspring of our spirit through which our Creative Genius flows.

But, in truth, this original wiki was more of a labyrinth than a garden. Valuable for me, but largely inaccessible for others. It was then that I was given the idea of a story arc, in the shape of the golden mean, attached to interlinking concept nodes.

We start our stories from this truth. From there, it arcs out. But this story is told through concepts that have a deeper meaning to us. The story, then, not only forms a path by which we can succinctly convey meaning to others but also serves as a gateway to a garden of concepts - a Meaning Matrix - in which that story is more fully understood.

On Ward's recommendation, I created a new wiki where I told the story . As I did, I would reference concepts that I had developed in my original wiki. When these concepts were mentioned, I would fork that page over to the new site. I then forked over the pages linked on that page and the next level under it. In all, about 100 pages from my original garden were forked over.

Garden Map: Dayton Experiment

Once these pages were brought over, I graphed them again in their entirety, allowing me to appreciate the clusters that were forming. I restructured that wiki into a print book that was published as The Dayton Experiment.

It took over a year for me to create 450 wiki pages.

another quest

Writing together here in this learning pod focused on Making the Future Together, it took us about a month to create the first 300 pages.

Will these pages form into a pattern of deeper meaning for others? We are not sure yet. But we trust that valuable meaning will organically emerge.

One that may become an important book someday, one that may help light the path forward both for the Agile movement and our organizations. One that may help companies better unleash the creative genius of all of their employees to design and build more vital and resilient systems.

A working title for this book, perhaps, might be _Agile Unleashed: the psyche of creative systems_, which plays on a phrase Ward has used to describe this work as "more agile than agile".

This quest is a Hero's Journey. We don't know if, as we wander into the forest together, we will find our way back home with a new truth, a new wholeness. But a worthy quest, for sure.

a footnote

The title of this page is a small homage to William Zinsser whose book, _On Writing Well_, was a landmark in the craft of non-fiction writing.

Bill, an unpresuming man, was the Master of Branford College, my residential college at Yale. Each month, he would host teas, where he would invite fascinating writers to read from their work and share their life stories.

Writers such as Alan Ginsberg who sat there reading _Howl_, a poem whose raw and profane cries helped awaken the consciousness of the Beat Generation, while his partner, Peter, sat quietly next to him, lost in an obscure old book about horticulture, seemingly oblivious to all others in the room.

I loved those gatherings, packed together in his living room, literally at the feet of these immensely gifted writers. I listened and learned. But most of all, just being in the same room with them was all that really mattered, knowing that greatness was only an arm's reach away.

Bill died a few years ago – a loss I felt deeply. I doubt he would have remember who I was, but I certainly remember him.

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