I Can Do This

Sunday 17 December, 2000

Went to Sunil’s for the day and had a wonderful time in his company. I felt relaxed as I had done when we met up for the Wales trip. He showed me the swing he had built in his back garden and I was immediately curious. It was a curiosity that comes only from doing the sort of projects Karaj and I have carried out recently. Empathy with a fellow craftsman. It was natural and exciting. Sunil and I spent the whole day in the garage putting together a guinea pig run for the garden. It was an opportunity to do with Sunil what I do with Karaj. Sunil had prepared all the pieces, had cut everything to shape and over the course of the day we put it together.

The whole day flowed and we both seemed content in the space we were in. Initially, as we worked together, I was aware of two ‘be perfects’ working together with the capacity to dwell for too long over a millimetre. I decided to take a step back where possible and allow Sunil to work alone if he could. All of this controlled, comfortable activity was interspersed with appealing silences and fascinating conversations of the sort I really enjoy. After Karaj’s comments yesterday about making more of a contribution and after the feedback in general I felt confident to contribute to the day. Sunil showed me the sketch he had made of the project and I told him how important it is to save all such documentation. I shared what I have learned, and Sunil did the same. I found the day very useful, highly enjoyable and mentally fascinating.

We talked about the evolution of the process – any process, about how readily we bash ourselves up, about the journey and about the group. When I had arrived I’d asked Sunil what he thought of yesterday. He said that he couldn’t remember too much of it and was still trying to process it. Personally, I had seemed more aware of what was going on in yesterday’s group than any other I have attended. I had felt different – more focused, more attentive, more able to listen.

At one point Sunil told me that he had set up a password on his computer. Before he went into detail he asked me if I knew anything about computers. I gave a small shake of my head as my only reply but the implication that he should carry on was clear. He explained how he had done it and I followed what he was saying to such an extent that I spotted the flaws in his short program, and told him I could crack it in 30 minutes. It was a good conversation and I was happy that I could display sufficient knowledge for the discussion to flow freely. I had been inspired by the men’s feedback yesterday and I felt empowered and able. We left it there and carried on with our project. One interesting point was that I realised that Sunil is not taller than me. This may sound like a ridiculous realisation. In fact it is quite revealing. I have always considered myself to be smaller than Sunil (and his wife!). Is this how I see myself – small?

Later on I told Sunil I was ready to crack his password. I sat down and began with the method I had talked to him about. It was easier than I thought and it took me two minutes. Sunil was impressed and we talked about what was necessary to improve the program. I thought to myself, ‘Fuck, I can do this – I’m good. The men can see that and they are helping me to see it.

Whilst I was thinking this, I was balanced. In the evening we went to the pub for last orders and sat chatting as we had done for most of the day. I talked about my balance being my success and that in the midst of all the wonderful things that have happened to me this weekend I have remained balanced and focused. We talked about how being in each other’s company helps us to focus on our respective journeys because we have the support of each other and, moreover, we all have the same issues and we’re using the same tools. Sunil confirmed his commitment to what Karaj had asked of the men – that they keep me on my path. We talked about the games people play and throughout the day we were aware of sucking each other into games. We challenged, gave feedback and clarified possible games between the two of us – rescuing, pleasing others etc. It was a similar experience to the script analysis in Wales.Very useful. In effect, there were very few games initiated.

We finished the run and celebrated. I had made an important contribution to the process. My problem-solving skills were evident and so were my woodworking skills. It made a nice change from Karaj’s power tools to use more traditional tools. Using a tenon saw again took me back to my school woodwork classes. I really enjoyed being a craftsman for the day. In addition, the manner of my contribution was excellent. I suggested ideas without being forceful, and I worked willingly without being negative about my own ability. As Karaj does, Sunil showed confidence in my ability which inspired me to work – he trusted my ability which made it impossible for me to be negative. It was good for me to go through the process with another person. I see how easily it transfers to any situation. After the pub, we returned to the garage for a chat and then retired to bed after a highly enjoyable and inspiring day. Thank you Sunil.


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