Eye / (I?) contact
We are day one. Seems like the group is feeling 'warmed up'. As I am just observing and not taking part I feel the contract growing. They are moving, gaining freedom & warmth in how they interact, and I slowly start to feel how it would become more difficult to 'just step in and take part'. So I assume group-development is boosted by physical activitities with the handclapping & the 'doekskes' in which I didn't take part.
When Mieke starts her 'Fly or Fall' workshop, she says something that somehow strikes me: "make eye contact. the more difficult things get, the more difficult it is to stay 'here'. try to keep eye-contact to stay here". This brings my attention to how everyone is contacting eachother. Especially through eye-contact. Actually for me quiet a few remarkable things seem to happen. In highlight just a few.
When every one is asked to pass each other around in the circle (as in carrying someone, see picture) there very litlle eye contact between the one who is carrying and the one who is being carried. The ones who carrie look at eachother, like they would when passing some other object. There is a lot of gestures and humor, but also some tension in it. The ones who are carried are often looking at others / the broader picture. And in fact, in this way sometimes it seems they are not entirely 'here' in the way Mieke probably meant in her intro.
Another example: when the group is divided in 2 groups, and every one is invited to step in to the circle to fall & melt down, letting the others catch them to keep them in the circle. The person in the middle of the circle allways immediatly closes his/her eyes. Their is no eye-contact between faller and cather. Even not just before. Catchers all look at the one who is falling. They don't / barely look at eachother.
For me it get's interesting when I wonder what the meaning of this is in group dynamics. It seems eye contact is less accessible in one on one & dependant relationships. Participants litteraly look at 'what has to be done' (their task).
Sometimes the physical contact runs together with the eye contact (in the second case: the ayes of the catchers are on the faller, as well as their hand). When eye-contact coincides with physical contact, this contact seems 'safer' then when it doesn't (in case 1: the physical contact between the carrier en the one being carried is not reflected in eye contact). Group dynamic wise it makes sense a new group is more ready to commonly take care of each other individual (like in case 2), then be able to find a matching one on one dependant relationship with any other member.
Food for thought. Pretty sure we will see some dynamics is physical and I contact the next days. Curious about it!