Mehfils & Salons
0530 is a surreal time to be in. Not quite day and certainly not night. But it’s that edge of time that reminds me of the opportunity that lies between the dichotomy of day and night.
I’d already had an eventful start to the day. The effervescent Anna Gat talking about decentralising the selection process for hosting salons on the Interintellect is music to the ears even at 0400.
I strung together an interesting connection during our conversation. I realised the Interintellect salons I’d grown quite fond of are similar to the mehfils of the Hindustani Classical tradition. Wikipedia defines it as ‘an evening of courtly entertainment; poetry or concert of Hindustani classical music and dance, performed for a small audience in an intimate setting.’
Having helped organise and document such gatherings, I’ve witnessed the wealth of tradition from a time long forgotten, being appreciated by patrons on the verge of extinction themselves. So it’s a relief to see a similar concept present itself to preserve and promote ideas whether modern or ancient. It’s no easy task if one were to embark on it single handedly, but Anna’s rallying call to one and all across the interwebs has brought many hands to make light work of this dream.
Another particularly endearing aspect of the ii Salons is it’s peer to peer nature. There isn’t necessarily an expert at the helm. Each note contributes a unique sound that adds to the tapestry of the orchestra that is a salon. The ability to share perspectives and play with confusion and uncertainty towards a mutually common goal of comfort with the subject is more important than pristine clarity. Purity may have been heralded in the past but the future is mired in uncertainty and if anything, we ought to develop comfort with it.
The answers are never as important as the questions we ask. For, every answer will only present another question to chase. Let’s enjoy this quixotic adventure, worry less about where it takes us and concern ourselves more with our fellow playmates along the way.
The journey is more important than the destination, but the journey (wo)men are more important than the journey even.
An ode to some fun playmates I’ve met in these mehfils - Brian, Helena, Luke, Jay, Clo…