12 october 2016


Is the title of the movie.

‘[T]he dramatis personae exists not for the customers but the players, and not just for the stars but those who never set foot onstage during a performance … gaffers, key grips, and foley artists: the dramaturge, scriptwriters, technicians (not to mention the casting director).*

At the end of today, the closing credits will run, small white font on a black background, running quickly through, towards whatever it is that exists at the end but we never see.

How many and who are the people who have made today work for us?

Not only the people in the meeting, or heaving shoulder to shoulder with us, but those we hardly notice, without whom today would have been quite a different “production,” for home the dramatis personae says “I see you.”

(Normally, I write a first draft of Thin|Silence in the morning and tidy it up in the evening, so today I’ve been trying to be mindful of the people who comprise today’s dramatis personae for me: people by bus stops, bus drivers, people I stepped off the pavement for, those talking loudly in a cafe, some folk begging, the person who let someone else know I’d arrived for a meeting – I soon became overwhelmed with the numbers of people who made today happen in the way it did for me.)

Joseph Pine and James Gilmore point to how we’re increasingly employing “experience coaches” to enhance our experience of life, from spiritual directors to professional therapists.  The tour of a sports stadium, the hen party, the photofari, the team-building exercise are all expressions of this – and all valuable – to experience more, towards seeing more.

When we keep our eyes open to more of what fills our day, we avoid life-commoditisation.  We are increasingly open to the wonder of it all, otherwise:

‘Welcome to the commoditisation of experiences, best exemplified by the increasingly voiced phrase, “Been there, done that.”*

No dramatis personae.

(*From Joseph Pine and James Gilmore’s The Experience Economy.)


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