Here we are at the end of January and your Blogger is recognising that she should be sending out pearls of Gnostic wisdom to the Universe, but is struggling out under the combined mortal coils of making a living, writing, and getting over flu.
How to continue stimulating ideas that you might find of interest without taking them away from other areas in my life? We have been together for a while now and I don't want to let you down.
Sometimes the answers to these questions come from areas we would least expect. Let me explain.
A goodly number of hours of my life right now are dedicated to working with a child who has somewhat extensive learning disabilities and who has for various reasons not had a lot of formal education. It is a blessing and a burden. A blessing because I can do what I have dreamed of doing probably since I taught my teddy bears at age 7: teach what I think is important in the overall scheme of things. Sift through "general knowledge" for reasons for our being, here and now. In that we are doing incredibly well and both of us are learning at an advanced rate. It means that I have to look at new ways in which to teach as the national curriculum is of little use to me. We are voyagers of discovery in a learning world where music might give us adjectives, and adjectives an insight into feelings and prejudice. I love it.
But it is also a burden in that I know that I have fewer and fewer hours now to dedicate to writing "Compostela". Sometimes, telling yourself at 8 at night: "right...now... get on with it!" just doesn't seem to work when you are writing historical fiction and you are too tired to think about the present, let alone immerse yourself in the past. And my usual 10pm to 4am late nights are compromised by having to get up at 7:30 with new and challenging teaching ideas.
Excuses for not having this year's scintillating blog? You betcha!
In the course of this week, I came across this video from Disney's Fantasia 2000 re-make which frankly I had never heard of. I found one of my most favourite pieces of music: Stravinsky's Firebird.
This of course, would prejudice me in favour of this piece, but the first time I saw this, I was simply stunned. "This has a message, but beyond the obvious, what is it?" So I watched it again.
And again. And the last time I had tears truly rolling down my cheeks and I think that rather than hollow sentiment I truly understood why.
Please, do watch this and then as you do, mentally (or literally) slow this down. You are at 8 minutes 42 seconds. (8:42). Go slow. I know it is counter to today's pace but do it anyway!
There is far more symbolism than just forestry re-generation at work here. Go deeper... Challenge youself to the inner - and very spiritual - message.
What is going through her mind as this happens, and his at what follows? Who are they supposed to represent? Does it matter anyway?
Is this Bliss? Is this in Christian terms a "State of Grace"? Is it a glimpse into the Taoist world? Is nature created, or "Emanated"?
What is all the other stuff about?
Is this the ultimate that we all crave from the moment we are born into a magical world full of opportunity and potential only to become cynical, practical, and ultimately preparing for and ready for death? From a teacher's point of view: what happens between grade 4 and grade 8? Where does the wonder go? Why does cynicism win out? Why is it only small children and philosophers ask the "right" questions?
Your answers, comments, confusions are always welcome...