Nourish the soul, absorb the arts
How worldschooling speaks to our existence, open our eyes and hearts.
Af Cecilie Felumb Conrad | November 7, 2016
At first, I thought this article should go by its sub-title: Educating the soul by absorbing art – and culture. But then I reflected: The word “educating” is just connecting the wrong dots, making the impression, that the soul needs education and the idea, that I (or someone else) educate my children on purpose and with a curriculum. And that is, actually, not the case.
True art is not only and always the generally accepted and expensive art you will find in art galleries and museums. We all know that you can find it in many contexts, and that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. It is more about the state of mind, than the actual peace of artwork, it is about how the work moves you, plays your inner instrument.
And you see: Art in all its amazingly different forms, has this one thing in common, that it speaks to the soul. You may call it spirit or deep being or whatever – I believe, you get my point, whatever vocabulary makes sense to you.
In many ways, art can be discussed and analyzed and understood in an academic language and methology, but the thing is, that art is for everyone, and art in all its styles and differences makes a complete picture, and basically speaks to anyone in any mood at any age, anytime. It is just not all, that has grown up with a culture of enoying art, reflection on the impressions, diving into the techniques, wondering about the nuances of the emotions, or inner movements its speaking about.
In our family, we tend to do things, we are drawn to. Things that makes us vibrate and fly high. We stop the bike to pet a beautiful dog or stay up all night to see the bats hunting in the bright scandinavian summer night. In the same spirit, we enjoy all kinds of art, the beauty and the poetry, the edges and depths of the art, that we stumble across or go to see on purpose.
But there is, of course, an idea behind it. Not a plan, not a curriculum, but a value system. We know, that the good life we want, will unfold the most and the best, if we nourish the soul. If we allow it to evolve, to breathe – and if we give it a language, teach ourselves to listen to it.
When we stop to discuss the street art, dance at the outdoor jazz-concert in Tivoli or hug at huge pot of flowers, it is because the emotional life is so important, and that the music, the poetry, the paintings and the theater is talking to the levels of being, that we call the soul.
I choose to focus on the experiences of art, preferably with my children. I love to enjoy it all, to talk about it, to study it, to connect to it – with my children, and I love, what it is doing to us. How it unfolds the many amazing levels of being, making the creative mind greater, and the joy of the present deeper, and the relations stronger and more fun and more honest. I want to live a full life. At all levels.
Therefore, today, I took my unschooled children to the majonette theatre in Copenhagen and had an amazing experience. One of the characters said: “Imagination is a journey that never ends”, and I thought about it in the context of worldschooling and came to the conclusion, that imagination, the wild and flying thought is one of the most valuable gifts, and it needs to be recognized and nourished – because the journey is – like a ‘real’ journey from A to B – a thing that takes skill, that empowers you and make you learn stuff, you had never though about, and make you choose hard, so you move the way that is in tune with your values.
So on a day like this, when out and about, it goes on and on in this line of art and culture: We discussed the architecture of the old buildings of Christian the 4th and the new ones being build right now. And we stopped to watch a street artist with can paint. We got lucky and met an inuit in the traditional clothing, so that we could be astonished by the glass-pearl-art that is part of it (there was a Greenland thing going on in the city). We deeply enjoyed the Pantomime (a ballet) and the florist art in Tivoi, and even a jazz concert to top it all.
All of it in one day. We can absorb it, because we have no curriculum and can take a day off tomorrow with cakes and grandma and computergames, a day to reflect and breathe out. Another kind of day well lived.
So, to unschool in a big city, is always an adventure. It does not have to be your hometown, but it could be. We love to dive into the vibe of the city or go hunting for the art, where-ever we go. In an unorganized way, in a not so academic way; in a way that nourishes the soul and make the moments matter, connects us deeper as a family and makes us feel alive and awake.
NB! Originally published @ worldschoolmagazine.com