Wes doesn’t need to nail down a cloud


Bonnie: So. Wes. What is something that you have and like and would like to keep?

Wes: I think that something that I want to remember to keep to stay in touch with is my capacity for play. Particularly play in the service of work or work in the service of play, I don’t know one of the two I don’t know maybe both.

Mm-hmm. And your capacity for play. Uhh, either play in the service of work or work in the service of play. {yes} And when work in the service of play or play in the service of work, anything else about work and play?

I looked back on the times when I was happiest and it tended to be times when I was when I had play time. Open ended time in which I could be constructively engaged in creativity.

Mmm, mm-hmm, and play time. And time when you could be constructively engaged in play time. Yeah. And when uh play time and time to play, anything else about time to play?

I think that open-endedness is really important. Umm, remembering how many good things come from not directed or undirected or freely self directed perhaps uh place like kinda bubble up like bubbles.

And bubble up like bubbles [yeah] Mm-hmm, And open ended play’s bubbling up like bubbles. [yes] And what else about bubbling up like bubbles?

It’s interesting like some of the places where this happens is like in my studio generally alone, so solitude is really important, um or for me like it started like out on the Playa, and there’s sort of like that openness, that’s really big and it’s really open, and there’s that sort of like you can go anywhere in any direction thing.

Mmm. Mmhmm. And like the Playa and openness, and you can go in any direction. And open ended playtime like the Playa, and bubbles bubbling up. And when Bubbles bubbling up – what kind of bubbles?

Bubbles don’t really come from nothing, they come from something though they may appear to and similarly when I am doing creative things there’s sort of like a something that the bubbly creative energy comes from, it’s seeded by art that I’ve seen, ideas I’ve heard, things I’m reading, people I’ve met, and so these experiences get synthesized into new things, creations, you know um sometimes tangible sometimes not sometimes super ephemeral but you know they come from somewhere

And bubbles bubbling up come from somewhere. And sometimes they seem like they’re just appearing but they come from somewhere. And sometimes it’s from something ephemeral and sometimes it’s from something someone said or something you saw, and bubbles bubbling up and synthesized into something new. And when synthesized into something new, what kind of synthesize is that synthesize?

Since I was really little something I really liked are things that fit. Like puzzle pieces. So, that feeling of like being in a job that you know how to do and you know you are capable of is like that pleasant sort of click that feels like oh I’m in the right place I’m doing the right thing with the right people, and I’m not a cog but I’m part of something whole and bigger that matters. I’m not being turned by anybody, I’m just a person that fits in the right place. And so when that synthesis happens when a little bit of this and a little bit of that and sometimes the flavors can be pretty different but when they are together you realize oh they click together, they fit.

They click, they fit. So synthesis like puzzle peoples – pieces fitting together and feeling good fitting together and being in the right place, and knowing what to do, and feeling and synthesizing, and just click – anything else about – when about that just click?

It’s just one of the most satisfying feelings I have. In so many different realms that like when things fit like that when I’m in the right place, when I connect two people that get along beautifully or I meet someone where the conversation seems to just flow, that feeling is a good one, when I’m working on a project where the pieces just kind of tumble over each other to get to me.

yeah! The pieces just tumble over you to get to you and it feels good and just right and a click. And when a click like that, whereabouts is that click?

Ohh, whereabouts…right hhhhere.

Right there

yeah Here I think

Yeah. That’s a click right there. Yeah. And does that click have a size or a shape?

I’m thinking of the different kinds of clicks & fits…no, it’s just right.

It’s just right. And right there, and it’s just right. And different kinds of clicks.

Yeah…I mean there’s big clicks and little clicks but it has to do maybe with intensity rather than size

Ahh ok intensity rather than size. And different kinds of clicks and right there and just right. [uh huh] mmhmm. And right there, and where ‘there’ is that click?

…I don’t know.

Mmm mmhmm. And just right. And a click, and the right place and the right people, and you know what you’re doing and it feels just right. And uh synthesizing from bubbles bubbling up. And an open ended space and time, playtime is open ended like the playa. And when play time is open ended like the playa, anything else about that playa?

There’s a thing about discovery and it’s open and I’ll say magic but I guess what I mean by that is uhh, not directed, uhm, you move through that space and you’re not necessarily directed in doing it, and this is literally how I move through the playa space, and at the same time this is also how I move through life creating art or creating writing or whatever, creative synthesis you know. So moving freely undirected allowing myself to discover and then magic comes from that which is the opposite of the pushing-to-achieve energy that maybe we all have a little bit of.

Mmhmm. So pushing to achieve some energy kind of thing and undirected open ended time and moving in a self directed way through that space like magic. And when moving through that space & that time is like magic, what kind of magic?

I want to say open, or surprising.

Mmm And open and surprising. Mmhmm. And surprising like what?

Like you don’t know. That’s the part – umm as a person I think who makes lists and crosses things off the list and I have a list in my back pocket right now of things and it’s kind of a charming list and it’s full of a lot of different kinds of things and it’s not just and they’re not boring necessarily, and I make charts and diagrams, and so in some ways I’m, I bring a certain directedness to the things I do and a certain relentlessness when I want to achieve something, but that magic is different, it’s like a, a letting go. and it’s not really a refutation of that feeling of internal push but it’s like another kind of gift.

Hmm. And magic is surprising, like you don’t know [right!] Like a list, and creative things on a list it’s a charming list, and an ability to push when you need to, and magic is different, and it’s a surprise and you don’t know, and it’s something different. And when magic is something different, anything else about different?

It is the thing I cannot push to even if I wanted to

And it’s the thing you cannot push to even if you wanted to

Because it’s not pushable

It’s not pushable

It’s an emerging thing, it’s a thing that grows up, [ahh!] like you can’t force something to grow, it just grows

It grows, yeah, and magic is a thing that cannot be pushed, it just grows. Mmhmm And when magic is a thing that cannot be pushed and just grows, What kind of grows is that grows?

Undescribably, because I’m thinking nah it doesn’t grow like a plant really it doesn’t grow like coral really, maybe it grows more like a cloud, something that like if you watched it you’d be like how did that happen?

Ahh, and magic and grows not like a plant, not like coral but like a cloud, something that if you saw it you’d say how did that happen?

How did that get there?

How did that get there? Yeah! And magic like a cloud. And a cloud. And when a cloud, anything else about that cloud?

I don’t think I have much about the cloud.

Mmhmm. And growing like a cloud, and bubbles bubbling up, and synthesizing, and a click just right just there, and an open ended space like the Playa. Mmhmm. And when a click that’s just right, what happens with cloud?

…I can’t see those two together.

Is there a relationship between click and cloud?

I’m backing up with each one just a tiny bit…to magic and that click and that puzzle piece that fits together…the magic feels more basic it’s like a thing that just is, it’s not about fitting, it’s just a gift like the air you breathe, or…

Ok yeah….

…You always fit. You always have.

Aww, you always fit, you always have. Yeah, like the air you breathe. It’s just there. Magic is just there.

And sometimes you‘re aware of it, and sometimes you’re not

And sometimes you‘re aware of it, and sometimes you’re not. Yeah. OK. Mmhmm. And bubbles, and bubblinbg up, and bubbles come from somewehere, like something someone said or something that oyu saw. Yeah. So when bubbles come from somewhere, uh , how do I want to ask this…yeah. And when bubbles bubbling up, what happens just before bubbles bubbling up?

Before that synthesis happens, that’s the place where you defocus your eyes enough to allow yourself to see, So there’s all these things before you, it’s a smorgasbord of life I guess, And that’s where if I allow myself to be in touch with the magic to allow myself to be open, that’s where the synthesis happens. If I’m very directed I get stuff done but if I combine that internal push with a certain openness and defocus, then that synthesis can happen then something bubbles up right? Like something occurs to me in a way that feels similar to that magical open feeling because I didn’t expect that, I wasn’t trying to put a & b together to make c I was just kind of acknowledging that a&b were there and then this other thing happened.

Mhmm Ok so, and uhh bubbles bubbling up but just before bubbles bubbling up, defocusing the eyes, to see so that you can see. And acknowledging that a&b are there so that something else can happen. And defocusing the eyes to unsee. And when defocusing the eyes to unsee, what happens just before defocusing the eyes?

…that happens when I am neither stressed & feeling helpless, nor feeling so confident and competent that my list becomes my world.

So not so focused that you’re… pushing to get things done? Is that what you said?

That I’m Stressed and feeling helpless

Stressed and feeling helpless and so confident in your list that that’s all you see that there’s nothing else that you see, so between those things is eyes can go unfocused eyes can unsee.

Yeah, like a relaxation

A relaxation

It’s something different like a comfort or a fitting like when you fit like a puzzle piece then it’s not as important to have to push to get there to get to wherever you’re going, I’m not stressed and I’m not feeling helpless.

So uh not stressed and helpless and not so confident that your list is all you see but a puzzle piece [right] a puzzle piece. And when a puzzle piece, eyes can unfocus and can relax [right] ok. ok. So magic like a cloud just in the air, just is, And relaxed like a puzzle piece like you just fit and eyes can unfocus, and bubbles bubbling up, and synthesizing…and when synthesizing, is there a relationship between synthesizing and a click right there?

Oh absolutely yeah. That is the click,[that is the click] that’s part of it, that’s the place where there’s these two things they’re unrelated, a new story you heard and a some dumb art piece you heard of that didn’t quite seem like it was quite there-there, and suddenly there’s a feeling of like what if like oh! Like sometimes ideas will come completely unbidden and whole to me and I’ll see most of it sort of as a vision as a whole piece there’s all those things, Magic it feels like it fits, um which is that click and that’s the result of this synthesis process

Yeah and that’s where it happens and sometimes whole pieces almost readymade and combining things that were not together before and putting things together yeah, ok. And synthesizing, and when synthesizing, what happens next?

Flush of endorphins ummm [hehhe] generally I want to record that because these things are sort of ephemeral and so if I want to make a thing real if I want to realize or create then remembering what that thing looks like and reminding myself it’s stuck but it’s also ephemeral too so it’s there, I’ll say independent of me but that sounds weird, and it can just move on like a bubble or a cloud or whatever, and I don’t feel like I need to nail down a cloud, but if I want to capture and create to mmmmake a real life reflection of that idea, then the next step is get to work, but it’s not a push thing …I’ve had a feeling I’ve felt for years like I’m really lucky like I am a vessel for this thing, I am a vehicle through which this thing allowed itself to be created and I’m a really fortunate person who serves a role and that feels good.

OK and so an idea comes and it’s sort of independent of you like a cloud or a bubble and not needing to nail down a bubble but wanting to record in some way to reflect …what that cloud is?

Yeah Like create a reflection

Like create a refelction, yeah, And a vessel for that idea–

Umm or maybe I serve as the vessel through which it is realized

the vessel through which it is realized. And when a vessel through which an idea like a cloud or a bubble is realized, that‘s a vessel like what?

I think more like a channel and not like necessarily a metaphorical channel but in the same way like a priestess or priest or shaman if you will is the person through which something greater than themselves allows something to be created. In the same way like we as humans who are part of and the product of the universe look out & see the whole universe through these eyes & can observe what is essentially itself so I’m looking at the world but it’s the world that I am, I am the world, I was made by it. Similarly my ideas that come from someplace that feels bigger than me emerge through my hands or my mind, so I’m a conduit, but I’m not necessarily visualizing like a conduit like pvc or something

OK So like a conduit or a channel but not like a pvc, or a channel but the way that a person receives and what – expresses and


And works with something bigger than yourself

Yeah, like in the way that an apple tree expresses appleness through making fruit.

In the way that an apple tree expresses appleness through making fruit. Uh huh. Yeah. OK. So. And then the work begins.

And then the work begins. Not pushing work you don’t have to do much it just comes through me

It just comes through you, and when work like that just comes through you, what happens next?

Sort of a feverish elation, it is close to like spiritual ecstasiness, ecstasy, a feeling of something bigger than me moving through me, and its effortless because it just fits, right? I am the right person to do this thing.

And effortless, and it just fits, and you’re the right person to do this thing, and a channel, and energy moving through you bigger than you, and you expressing it, and kind of feverish like a spiritual ecstasy…. And a spiritual ecstasy, and moving through you, and bigger than yourself, and it just fits. You are the right person. Mmm mmm. … … hmm mmhmm. And when you’re the right person with the energy moving though you bigger than you, … then what happens?

…at that point nothing need to happen

Then nothing needs to happen. Yeah. So ok, so we’ve got….magic, like a cloud that just is, it’s in the air [if you choose to see it] if you choose to see it, and you see it when you unfocus your eyes in that space between being stressed and worried, and being so confident in your list that it’s the only thing you see. And that’s the puzzle piece, that space. Does that space have a size or shape?

It does but I don’t know if I can describe it.

Can you draw it?

I don’t think I can draw it either. It’s the space between helplessness and… I don’t know what to call it, I used confidence but its’ not perfect….I’ll just say pushing.

Pushing, mmhmm

In fact realizing that helplessness is going nowhere and pushing is another form of going nowhere, but it feels like running or moving ahead, that space in the middle which is really like an open space… I’m not feeling like nothing, and I’m not feeling like I have to go, it’s the awareness of magic, it’s the awareness that I don’t have to worry. the world is there, it’s always there, and so I would say that space is infinite. it’s like the playa we talked about, it’s open it’s every direction.

Yeah and between helplessness and pushing which is another form of going nowhere there’s that open space that’s infinite like the playa with things going in every direction. That open space. In that open space eyes can unfocus to be able to see and somebody says something, you see something and bubbles bubbling up and a click just there and synthesizing and then the work, like a, like you’re a channel, you’re a conduit and energy moving through you like spiritual ecstasy and then nothing needs to happen.


Yeah. Is this a good place to stop?


We don’t have to. Is there something more to explore?

No, I think that’s perfect.

Special thanks to the generous Bonnie Primbsch who worked with me using Clean Language facilitation to explore creativity and inspiration.

2 thoughts on “Wes doesn’t need to nail down a cloud

  1. Hey Wes,
    I love having an example of my Clean Language facilitation work up where people can see it. Would you be up for crediting me in some official way? I would like to be identified as the italicized part of the conversation so people know it is not just an inner dialgogue, but insight faciliatated through the use of a specific, skilled technique that I wielded for you. Then I can proudly point potential clients and other interested folk here and they’ll know I’m really pointing to a me-thing. Also, and if so, can I link from this to my Clean Language web presence? I’m going to wind up here: http://cleanlearning.co.uk/resources/facilitators/

    Let me know & thanks,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *