Who are the people we go to in times of need?

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]During the Magnify experience, there have been a couple of instances of understanding and deep connection with somebody else that have left me feeling a little sad. I am not sad at the connection in that moment; that makes me feel great.


I am sad that I have had to carve out two weeks in my life, negotiate time with work and family, save up money and fly around the world to have these profound experiences with strangers. I am sad at the investment I have had to make in order to realise things that are happening much closer to home. I am sad I cannot find the time or space or energy in my everyday life to have these conversations, realisations and shifts myself.


Maybe it’s only because I have time and space and am with strangers that these thoughts and feelings are able to manifest? Maybe my life is so full of the everyday that being able to value and process my reactions moment to moment is too hard?


This is exactly what Magnify is able to do: give me the time and space to think, feel, be and do things in different ways, with different people, in different spaces at different times.


In this way, I have come to see the group that makeup Magnify as each other’s luggage: able to hold things, well used, reliable, trustworthy, necessary. We carry what we need in one another and leave the non-essentials out. We give what we can to each other, and are often surprised by the capacity and depth to which this luggage-in-human-form can provide a container for our troubles to be witnessed and heard. As travellers, we have no doubt bumped and knocked the luggage entrusted to us as we scrabble along this journey of self-discovery. We make the luggage lumpy with the memories, moments and gifts.


And as we take on the luggage-in-human-form for others, we respect that it’s someone else’s journey, but that we can come along for the ride, just for the time being. It’s ok for our luggage-container to be returned to the shelf when normality resumes. Although on the shelf, our luggage has travelled with us and remembers the wounds and scars incurred.

Laura & Tony as we said goodbye on the last day of Magnify; all of us acutely aware that the container we had built together was shifting and changing.

Throughout Magnify, we witnessed and accompanied each other through collective sense-making exercises that took many forms. The luggage metaphor lingered and resurfaced throughout our time together as we built and nurtured a container to support the deep work we did – individually and collectively – during the two weeks we were together. One of these exercises surfaced the following poem:


My Lumpy Luggage Friend

Rarely used but oh-so-necessary, you help transport life from A to B,

My lumpy luggage friend.

Kept on the top shelf and gathering dust.

Brought down only in times of travel and turmoil,

My lumpy luggage friend.

I have come to know each pocket of you, each fold, each niche

in which I can store my necessaries.

You are my Keep-Safe, my lumpy luggage friend.

You are my container of All-Sorts

You are my seat when I am tired

You are both my weapon and my shield in the crowd

Even when you are full, you impossibly take more from me

My lumpy luggage friend.

I use you. I empty you. I turn you upside down and shake you.

And, in turn, I fill you.

I carry you on my shoulders and on my back.

Together we travel, my lumpy luggage friend and I.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” css=”.vc_custom_1456147865877{padding-top: 100px !important;padding-bottom: 100px !important;background-color: #eaeaea !important;}”][vc_column][vc_row_inner equal_height=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1456148051953{margin-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”16245″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1531176114067{padding-right: 35px !important;padding-left: 35px !important;}”][vc_custom_heading text=”About the author, Anna Gregory” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23f08a00″][vc_column_text]

Anna works for Peacemakers. Peacemakers is a charity situated within the UK Midlands that delivers peace education via practical workshops and experiences that develop social and emotional learning and further understanding of how to resolve conflict creatively. Peacemakers educates for peace, not about peace in that we promote the foundational skills needed for peace such as communication, inclusion, dialogue and conflict transformation. Anna is the Restorative Coordinator for Peacemakers and provides both strategic and on-the-ground support, challenge and training to schools.


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