What we're about

To converse is human. To salon is divine! Hear Ye, armchair philosophers, merciless cynics, bleeding hearts, managers, educators, engineers, cubical dwellers, corporate consciences, business owners, blue collar workers, waitresses, Capitalists, truckers, Socialists, retail clerks, Anarchists, students, Republicans, lawyers, Democrats, Greens, retirees, Libertarians, healers, contrarians, atheists, church-goers, peacemakers! Oyez, agitators, artists, musicians, poets, Unitarians, bohemians, bloggers, vintage hippies, pranksters, pagans, wild-eyed visionaries, daydream believers, Baby-Boomers of all walks of life! Rejoice! The Art of Conversation lives! Ever hear of a conversation salon? It’s people talking to people, in a real room in real time, about the experience of being a human being. Salons are not debates or somber formal discussions. They are lively gatherings where people share their observations and ideas, creating a feast of intelligent, imaginative, often moving, occasionally inspiring, sometimes hilarious, and every once in a while, utterly banal, repartee. The Conversation Salon just outside Elgin, IL, wants you!

Those were the days, my friends, we thought they’d never end. Remember the cool, intense, crazy conversations we enjoyed in dorm rooms, bedrooms, and dinky apartments back when we were in our late teens and early 20s? Welcome back! Since 1998, we’ve been hosting talk-our-heads-off evenings in our private home, a Time-Warped Abode located in a subdivision just outside Elgin, IL. Every six weeks or so, we email invitations to about 150 people who’ve expressed interest in coming. Usually, 20-35 people attend any one gathering. It’s easy to be a new face, as the mix is at least somewhat different each time. Everyone brings something unique to the gatherings. We’re eager to enrich our experience with your personality and take on things, as well as to provide you with a little sanctuary from the ordinary. How do I get invited? You can let us know you want to join our invitation list via this Meetup page. You also can sign up using the contact link on our web site: http://www.leftbank.org The web site has a lot more information about the salon. If you want to communicate with us before taking the plunge, feel free to contact us directly from the web site or by email at jabberwockyonkoshare@gmail.com

Caveat: The salon has been happening since 1998. We send invitations to about 150 people and 20 to 40 attend each gathering. We are experimenting with using Meetup to let more kindred souls know of its existence. The numbers on Meetup don't reflect the number of people who are actively involved in the salon; however, they do show how many new, Meetup people are up for giving the salon a try. Again, don't hesitate to write if you have questions.

Upcoming events (1)

Salon of February, 2019!

The Time-Warped Abode of the Hosts

BRING YOUR OWN TOPIC The salon will be, once again, a topic free-for-all. We ask everyone who feels like doing so to bring a short, provocative piece of writing. We will fold ‘em up, put ‘em in a basket, pull one out, read it and talk it into the ground, pull out another, do the same, etc., until we’re all talked out (never happened yet!) or 10 p.m. arrives, whichever happens first. Note: You can show up without a piece of writing. Please feel free to bring only your brain and your mouth. Of course, the more stuff we have to work with, the more interesting the evening will be. Also note that another rule prohibits revelation of who brought what, so even if what you foist on us turns out to be really dumb, no one will ever know it was yours! OVERf Here's how it all works: 1. We invite some interesting people over (that's you). 2. We ask everyone to bring something for the group to read and discuss. The selection can be from any source–novels, short stories, poems, song lyrics, news articles, essays, research papers, personal writings, advertising, your own stray thought–and may be on any subject. Don't think it must be political. Whimsey, spirituality, recipes, . . .anything is welcome. It can be complete in itself (a short poem), a biopsy of a longer piece (a paragraph from an essay, article or book chapter), a simple sentence, a quotation, or even a single word (“indecision”). It also can be a question you'd like the group to try to answer (e.g., my perennial favorite, "What, if anything, desirable can be salvaged from the '60s?") Each selection should be no longer than what fits comfortably fon a half-sheet of paper in legible lettering. It should be photocopied, typed or handwritten without any indication as to the author, the source, or the person who put the thing into the basket. In other words, both the contribution and the contributor should be anonymous. That way, we can discuss something without necessarily having to consider its context. If you want to reveal that a contribution is yours and the context from which it came at some point during the discussion, that's fine, of course. Just let us take a crack at it based on the four corners of the paper for a few minutes, first. Each selection should be folded and brought to the salon. 3. We'll have baskets ready for your stuff when you arrive, If you bring two copies, you can be sure your contribution will have a chance of being read in both rooms, should we have a large enough crowd for two rooms. But it's ok to bring one copy, too. 4. We'll begin the discussion by having someone pull a contribution from the basket and read it out loud. Someone other than the reader should offer the first comment, after which we jump in or not, in our usual fashion. The idea is to let the conversation flow like a river that is searching for its course. (I stole that line.) Sometimes, a single comment is all we have for a particular selection. But there also could be a three-hour discussion on the first item, leaving us unable to get to the second, If that happens, all is well, the others can wait until next time. Why not? Nothing is invested here except for time communally shared in thought. (I stole that line, too.) Usually, we end up somewhere between the two. We say whatever comes to mind, comment on others' comments, go off on a slight tangent for a bit, then pull another item to discuss. Are you game? Then come on down! About 15-20 people, none of whom are on Meetup, are coming so far. Why not make it 16-21 by joining us?

Past events (22)

Salon of January, 2019!

The Time-Warped Abode of the Hosts

Photos (1)