October 21, 2009
Ry has mentioned this mushroom she needle felted several times. What struck her, working on this piece, was how difficult it was to make the spots on the top look random. She worked hard to create a random look because the spots kept falling into patterns as she tried to place them. I pointed out the paradox of being intentionally random. Later I noticed that our homeschool is intentionally random. I don't work hard for it. But I do have to work, occasionally, to have faith in our process when things look maybe too random and not intentional enough.
This morning we had a long visit with an old friend who is an artist and a teenager. No one is more inspirational to children than teenagers. And Ella, who is naturally musical and visually artistic, was doubly inspirational. She fully appreciated Henry's new distortion peddle. Then she sat sketching Ry as Ry felted. We all were blown away by the book excavation she did in black and white of Peterson's Field Guide to Birds. And when she left, Ry went directly outside to spend an hour in the sun sketching next to Jackson. Later Ry told me she is working on a new book. There you have it: Intentionally Random Influence. Life gives so much better than I could manufacture with curriculum.
Ella talked to me about her frustration with school. She is tired of being forced into the constant company of people who aren't interested in working on anything serious. She is tired of sitting in school biding her time until she is free. She wants to work on real things. She goes to one of the best and most expensive private schools in this area. The drug problems in this rich white elite school are rampant. The kids are rude and unmotivated. It sounds awful. Ella said she doesn't want to wait to start living her life. She wants to be working on real work now. And for herself, she is. I wonder what she would do if she were unfettered?
Ella said my kids are "in the same place as me." I pointed out they are still little. And she said, "No, they are real. They don't act like *kids* to get attention." And I said that they are busy living their life. They have no concept of waiting to do anything else, other than grow. Then we sat quietly in the sun.