The last day of this truly unique class experience was yesterday and I’ve had some hours to think about what to write. These entries over the last week have been pretty much “news, sports, and weather” in my mind because the really personal stuff happened in our discussions, my journal, the moments of being there with those people, in those places we went to physically, mentally, and emotionally. I know those who were there know exactly what I mean. It’s not really possible to describe the really profound moments, so I’ll just savor them. And there are some things that should just be between the people who were there, and they will remain that way for all of us, I think.
We started the day focusing on how we now apply our experiences to our classrooms and how we keep the energy and inspiration going after the week is over. Then over several hours we listened to each person describe their experiences and share some of their work. I am seldom at a loss for words (my friends will be shocked by that, I know) but I had a difficult time deciding how to say what ended up being for me so multi-faceted and it will take me weeks and maybe months to really process everything fully. Most of the work I did is at the edge of being created, just a possibility of an art work right now. I did read a story that I wrote that sort of sums up a deeply personal revelation I had during the week. I won’t post it here today, but the story symbolized to me, as an artist and person, that if I am true to who I am fundamentally, I will have peace with myself and in myself and in this world.
This week I’ve talked about my experience and shown my work only. I have been consciously careful about violating the trust and privacy of the people learning along with me. Yesterday some members of the group were generous and open enough to allow me to photograph them and some of their work so I can share it here. I’m not going to attempt to describe the work spaces and pieces on each artist's behalf, but if anyone has questions or would like to comment on their own stuff, you can certainly comment at the end of the blog and I welcome you to do that.
I just heard a quote this morning: “Adventure requires a trusted guide.” Ginny, Jack, Peter, Mary Ellen, thank you for being encouraging, trustworthy, spiritual, honest, and accepting guides. I am so deeply grateful. And to all of the group, your acceptance and willingness to share was so genuine and surprising to me. I can’t wait to see you all in September. And I'll be working with Jack, Ginny, Polly Z. and others in the near future looking at ways to best use technology like blogs and web-based sharing for teachers, so I'm looking forward to that.
Okay, on a side note, throughout the week people talked about “things that just happen” in this class. There were some amazing connections and coincidences. This week a lot of my personal contemplation has been around my insecurity about if I am doing what I should be doing as an artist and teacher. So, at the end of the day Jack rolled in a big cart of books and we were allowed to choose one. Whoo-hoo, free books! I got to the book cart and I saw this orange book and I thought, NO WAY. Only my husband knows (until today) that two or three months ago, I starting writing a book, young adult novel, centered around Hawaiian shark folklore. (My close friends know I’m deathly terrified of squirrels but I adore Great White sharks.) I’ve wondered if I should bother doing this, I’m not really a “writer”, etc., etc. I have been starting to do research on the culture and deities and all that but of course, in class this week I haven’t been thinking about that little project at all. So I saw this orange book and the title is Hawaiian Mythology. I grabbed it. It’s my sign.