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On Complexity

We love complexity at Overhear. That might sound terrifying to you and sure it can be synonymous with chaos and losing control...but the most stable system on the planet, that of Organisms and nature itself, is complex.


However… it’s not complicated. There is a difference between the complex and the complicated: a machine is complicated but an Organism is complex. Flatpack instructions can be complicated but poetry can be complex. First dates are complicated but relationships are complex. One is flat and linear the other is rich and alive.

Here is Jordan Hall giving a quick overview of David Snowden’s Cynefin (pronounced "ku-nev-in," a Welsh word meaning "place" or "habitat.") framework that I find useful.

And this is what I love about Overhear. When we put poems in locations we can’t predict what will arise for our listeners. The complexities of the poetry, the place and you as the listener converging together provide the turbulence for all sorts of insights to arrive, each one rich and meaningful, deep and profound, if we only just stop, be present and listen. At Overhear, we believe that embracing complexity is akin to embracing life itself. Just as a symphony is composed of a myriad of notes, harmonies, and instruments, life is a blend of experiences, emotions, and relationships. While it's easy to get overwhelmed by the intricate details, it's essential to remember that it's these very intricacies that make the melody memorable. The beauty lies in the unpredictability, the unexpected twists and turns, the crescendos and the pauses.


In our fast-paced world, we often seek simplicity for convenience. But in doing so, we might miss out on the depth and richness that complexity brings. Overhear's mission is to reintroduce you to this depth, to help you find the music in the chaos. With our Wanders subscription, we invite you to dive deep, to explore, and to find the rhythm in the cacophony. It's not just about understanding poetry or a place, but about understanding yourself and the intricate web of life that surrounds you. Embrace the complexity, and you'll find a world teeming with wonder.

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