last week i opened up TimeOut london for a quick view of what's happening round town and one of the recommended events was a birthday party for philosopher, historian and author Theodore Zeldin in Regents Park. i was just re-reading his book 'Conversation' so this was exciting news.
this wasn't your normal birthday bash. while most of us celebrate with our homies & fam, zeldin likes to celebrate with complete strangers. together with social enterprise limina, he invited anyone and everyone in the world to join 'the feast of strangers'. instead of a menu of food, there was to be a menu of topics for conversation. (all were invited to bring real food & share.)
i had a nervous feeling the shindig was going to be very philosophical, intimidating and completely over my head. but as i approached the location the butterflies in my tummy went away because it looked like an Evergreen party. hippies all over dotted with a few london 'suits' free arty activities, guitar sounds in the background and fresh treehouses courtesy The Treehouse Gallery.
a friendly boy who smelled very much like Evergreen introduced me to 'my stranger'--a bright, bubbly woman who also found the event via TimeOut. what a coinky-dink, we said. we looked over the 'menu' and found the questions to be very difficult, deep and personal. we both gravitated to the same question: 'what have you learned about yourself through traveling?' and so we conversed amidst a hundred other strangers under the warm afternoon sun.
then we shook hands and went our separate ways. it was fun.