Privacy, shared reading & freedom

We had an interesting discussion today after our regular Wednesday session at Selwyn Village. About half the group had left but 6 or 7 of us remained around the table…We were feeling bemused and quite chatty after discussing a surrealist Andre Breton poem. The subject of the group itself came up and I said I liked how people can come to shared reading for different reasons and can freely take what they need from the group. This opened up discussion to the different reasons that we enjoy the group. One gentleman stated “It’s unique, what we have here, you won’t find another session in New Zealand or Auckland or anywhere else to discuss books like this one.”

A woman added that she recommends it to everyone because it’s relaxing. “When you live by yourself your own thoughts go in and out…it’s nice to get the feedback from others.”

The pleasure inherent in learning together as a group and sharing thoughts and feelings was an overarching theme in the reasons people like the group as listed below:
“The exchanging of ideas and the written word.”
“The extension of knowledge, the authors and the company.”
“We didn’t all know each other before.”
“I love reading and getting to meet other people from elsewhere in Selwyn.”
“I’m getting to know men better.”

There is a certain fearlessness that has developed over time within this group. As one woman states “If I say something silly, it doesn’t matter! Nobody will be upset..” another woman chimes in “Or use it in another conversation!” This gets to the heart of the value of building trust within the privacy of the group. As the group says,
“there is a sense of privacy, it’s our, precious to us.”
“We’re all different, we have a freedom of expression.”

I think this last quote summed up our feelings about shared reading concisely…

“Getting to know each other better…. That’s the surprise!”

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