How many times have you said to someone, or to yourself, “do what you love”, or even consider earning a livelihood by combining work with your passion? Is this a dream or the way of the future for young people?
It seems this train of contemplation is a path to a healthier way of being in the world, and to hazard a further outcome, to a healthier planet.
Doing what we love, leads to emotional, physical, mental and spiritual balance; anything else has a tendency to lead us away from that equilibrium. Personally I encourage young people to look at both and combine them into their future in perhaps, as of now, an inconceivable way.
With technology at our finger tips, this can be a reality, and of course we are seeing this emergence in concrete terms through personal job creation and the arts. We understand that the livelihoods of the future are unlike those of the past. So why not encourage young people in schools to think and evolve their passions through the arts, and allow them to create future livelihoods by combining their passions with customary skills needed for their future.
As a result of programing from years of institutional conditioning and societal influences often our passions are either discarded, or relegated to a hobby at best.
Increasingly, many of us see the value of Arts in education. Take poetry as an art form and as an example. I have said for years that anyone can write poetry, but I made a mistake. Why because the use of the word “poetry” holds years of connotation and conditioning and many people resist and say such things as “I can’t do that.” However, recently I re-framed the word thanks to the work of John Fox [www.poeticmedicine.org] poet and author of the book Finding What You Didn’t Lose.
He renames poetry and explores poem-making instead. This reframing has melted resistance among young and old alike. Poem-making is an inclusive, regenerative exploration of words, and implies its own magic and form no matter who, or how it is generated. It can be played with, danced with, and re-framed. It is organic, fleshy, physical, personal, corporeal, and inclusive.
Perhaps we can re-frame Arts in Education? What if, as a society we were to direct energies to those practices that make our hearts sing, fill us up rather than deplete us, and were integrated into our lives in early education through to graduation in our schools? This is forward thinking and regenerative practice simultaneously.
Writing Practice: Get up, walk around your room, gaze out of a window, notice movements inside and outside. Go for a walk, study your environment, move in it, touch, smell, pick-up, feel texture, surface or object. When you have finished your exploration, find a spot, grab a pen and paper, and jot down your experiences in no particular order, random and disorganized if you choose. Consider all your senses, form sentences from words that capture this experience. Once you sense you are completed, read. Rearrange lines, words, add and subtract, change, switch-out. This is poem-making.