Monday, 26 November 2012

The end of November

Illustration of The Soldier and Death
(Russian folktale by batfish)

It is getting silly. At first i marvelled when i turned around and it was the end of the week. Now it is getting ridiculous. I'm turning around and it is the end of the month. The days wheel themselves in and out on some silent, effcient mechanism and whirling like shadowy dancers pass by and before i know it, it is the end of the year.

And what a year! I spent the weekend doing the teacher training. I say teacher training and of course it is teacher training but more than that is seems to be a reconnection to myself. It is like a reconnection to finding a true purpose, but in a very clear headed, very grown up way. Everything which we do in the course i love - from the reading and the drawing to the wool work and the blacksmithing. But i have to say doing the theory, the reading the stuff that Steiner lectures on and then applying it to real life is my favourite bit.

I know that lots of it is still pretty damn far out - like we have an etheric heart that decays and a new one is born at puberty - however, somehow this rings true. When he says stuff you go, yes, that makes sense. And more than that i go - yep, it gives me the language to describe what i have felt. And then even if it is not true, or right, each bit of the philosophy is so imbued with a high level of awareness and the ethos of integrity and love and i think - it does good, not harm and that is important. Because if something is true and wicked, which can be the case, then it is best not to follow it.

I've said it before, but it is a lot like reading feminism again - going i knew that something was not quite right and could not find it in everyday life, and now i know... it is amazing really.

Most recently we've been doing a lot with light and dark - and how colours are created when they both meet. The dark wants to come to the light and when it meets the light - that is where the colours are created. Having this sense of colour makes it a tremendous previlege to be a human being - of course we can only see a few colours, but with those few colours we can have a sense of the entire universe, the entire poetry of the cosmos, the entire calling into being of our existence. And that is what we imbue our lessons with - that sense of wonder and magic that colour is. That everything is.

We are also doing the life processes - Breathing, Nourishing, Secreting, etc... now that is incredibly fascinating. Steiner education isn't just abouut the numbers and the letters. That is important. But it is only two of the things in an entire palette of what is taught. And the direction of the education is to create a healthy human being - both in soul and body. There is very little point in creating a reading and writing and counting machine. Which was experience of my own education. Yes there was what we called moral education and character development, but really, they were all bolt ons to the big kahuna - exams. Exams... and you cannot examine one's soul - so the bean counters then concentrate on things they can measure - the reading and the maths - and the result - well you see the state the world is in - that is the result.

I always knew there was something horrible about the way i was educated - and it wasn't the teachers' fault, or the systems' fault - it was just the times we were in. But the times, they are a-changin' - and if we are to prepare our children for real life, if we are to be in this together, then we neglect the soul and spiritual dimensions of ourselves at our peril.

I was having a conversation about fairytales - i said, i have taken a break from thr Grimms fairytale. I know that they are supposed to be archetypes and the gold and jewels are supposed to be metaphors, but i do find the predominence of wicked women and materialism a bit much. So i'm now doing Celtic and Czech/Russian fairytales which have a softer, quickier, more rustic quality. And the landscape is one which is familiar. The animals too are familiar - ravens and otters and salmon and shaggy cows. It is amazing actually - as a teacher i read so many fairytales, getting through them, you begin to notice patters, cultural resonances, subtelties. They enter your dreams, they become part of your everyday thinking and language. You see the Jungian archetypes over the course of the readings - i love mythology and fairytales anyway and this is just sheer joy for me.

Well, today, today i'm meeting a friend who has recently written THE book on birds in Ireland and then, i;m gonna go and get some beads for the knitting needles we are making and then finally i'm gonna plan the next five weeks. And THEN this evening :-).....Lilac wine is sweet and heady....

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