Friday, October 5, 2012

Throw Off the Bowlines: Walking About & School

Bruised (M.A. Reilly, 2012)

I. Opening

In writing about dream states, Rebecca Solnitt says that, "Nothing is lost but you yourself, wanderer in a terrain where even the most familiar places aren’t quite themselves and open onto the impossible" (p. 182).

I spent the morning walking with a camera in hand.  And after weeks of very steady work, I was delighted to see the fog and light this morning-- a dream place of sorts where the ordinary is recast in unfamiliar cloth.  It was a morning for getting lost and coming to know and unknow.

Light (M.A. Reilly, 2012)
II. Making

In looking at the images I made this morning, I thought about how much I learn by simply being, walking outdoors and seeing--as well as how these experiences will (in)form others I have yet to name.  It gives me pause when I think about the millions of children who at the same time I was out walking were seated at desks.

Is it not out of balance that we keep children inside in order to learn?  It feels counter intuitive and a bit arrogant to house students inside permanent structures as a means to ensure learning.  The physical world beyond the school represents potential places of learning.  I'd like to see school be less a matter of indoor sitting.

III. Recording

There's a quote I have memorized that is attributed to Mark Twain although it hardly seems like something he would utter. Nonetheless, it is wise and was with me this morning as I set out.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Lush (M.A. Reilly, 2012)
Some days, I too throw off bowlines, not in a flashy manner you would most notice, but rather through small, almost imperceptible acts.  Like walking about.  Some mornings are meant for getting lost, for ditching work and school and the hundred things you meant to do and instead catching the trade winds in your sails. I wish school was more like this in spirit and less pressed and constant.

Reservoir (M.A. Reilly, 2012)

The Start of Autumn (M.A. Reilly, 2012)

Wires (M.A. Reilly, 2012)

Sunlight Falling (M.A. Reilly, 2012)
Two Birds, One Tree (M.A. Reilly, 2012)


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