Saturday, 4 February 2012

Where love resides

This is one of the concepts I gave to my year 12 art class as stimulus for them to create a body of work..."Where love resides." I thought it would be a fairly simple and straightforward concept for them to involve themselves in and that, aside from the usual cutsie love heart stuff (which I firmly vowed I would put out of their heads before we began) it would be an interesting and enlightening journey.

Well, I certainly wasn't wrong about the interesting and enlightening, however, I was VERY wrong about the easy.

Once we got passed the need to draw love hearts and cupid bows and cherubic little angels, they were stuck! I couldn't believe, cosmic and the most talked about of human emotions, and yet, no one could think of anything. I left them to stew over it a bit, not wanting to prejudice or influence their process by injecting my thoughts too early in the process.

Slowly, a huge and wonderful range of ideas started to emerge; an amazing journey of self, of others, of life, of everything.

There were works about partners and family and things. Works about pets and landscapes and nationalism. Works about the flip side of love and heart break, sadness and depression (I am so impressed that they decided to describe something by stating what it was not). There were works only about colour, icons and realistic representations...It was so fantastic to witness, experience and share the student's understanding about love and where it can be found for them move beyond the spoon fed, Hollywood, Hallmark card stage and into something deeply thought out, investigated and celebrated in a whole new way.

I am so glad that I followed my instincts and the advice of my divine team in allowing this process to unfold without direct intervention. I could have got a little worried when after two weeks of classes, there seemed to be little sign that any work was being done or even thought about...but it was worth the "gamble" and the wait.

The point of this story is two fold for me...standard definitions of love do not apply. Deep within us is the knowledge of where love resides. Without prompting or interference from another, we come to our own understandings, and they are meaningful and joyous and beautiful in their conception. No one else can tell you what love is and where it can be found, the knowledge lies within you.

The second point? Most often, patience and the ability to quietly watch rather than interfere, is the only guidance most of us require from another. It is when we can reach our own understanding that the learning has true meaning.

With love and light

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