February 22, 2010

Personal Symbols - a journey cloth by Ancient Cloth.

In January Ancient Cloth asked me what my five personal symbols were.
I had not thought of them in a list before and it felt like I was playing The Cube Sufi Game.

The Cicada is a symbol for death and rebirth.  
It has a special meaning to me because of what I learned one summer as my boys were observing a cicada.
The boys were 3 and 7.
They enjoyed watching the cicadas come out of their shells.
They would attach themselves to the side of the tree and then when their shell was attach they would disengage their body.

  They would then emerge from the shell and spread their wings, drying them out till they were hard and fly away.
When the boys found one they thought they would just move the critter to the front porch.
Unfortunately the insect was no longer attached to the tree.
He could not break free of his shell as he used the tree or a wall that his shell was attached to to help him.

This reminded me of how we may not trust natural progressions of growing up.
I have had adults around me try to help me "grow up" my children.

I was made to do things that I was not ready for and then my report card was marked with
Becky would do really well if she would pay attention.
The wall that I was attached to was taken away...my questions and imaginations considered unimportant.
They put me in a box of their own comfort and then presented me with their own set of questions and views.
It work well for "school" but it left me stunted and in my opinion it was in humane.

Another thing that happened when the insect did not emerge from his shell, was that my son helped him out.
He took off the armour that the bug was encast in.
It didn't help the insect.
The Cicada died. 

For me, I was helped out by working on my weaknesses.  
By being put in the slow class.
It did nothing to improve my strengths.
They really weren't interested in those.
I don't know if they knew what they were or what use they would have been in their system of learning.
I felt "stupid".
I struggled to survive in that environment.           

One day I went to coffee with a friend of mine and told her this story.  
After we got through I went to the farmer's market.
There was a girl there that had set up a Poetry Store.
I knew that I wanted her to write a poem about Cicadas.
As I got closer to her I saw that on the inside of her arm was a tattoo....
of a Cicada.
How cool is that?

Here is the poem that she wrote

"To follow the course
Of a tune well aimed,
We turn our ears to thosse
Who settle on living below
the soil until their brood
hums them onward.  This song
trumps all those made by metal 
or wood or throat andin this
winding buzz we can hear 
the wisdom of rest, of patience
and of onwardness to come."

October 31, 2009

P.S. This was done on a manual type writer so I left in all the typos as that gives this poem some character...and adds to it's artistic value, for me.


arlee said...

My son plays The Cube on first dates! So far, no girl has met the expectations :}
I like your Cicada analogy very much.

Sandra said...

I like the comparison you make with the Cicada an raising children.

Lynn said...

I am also aware that the poem is shaped like the Cicada.

Loved reading more about you...
How wonderful that you came out of your shell and became the wonderful person you are today and will continue to grow and be.

Amelia said...

school education can be so damaging and your experience is many people's experience. I took my daughter out of school and into Steiner education when she was put in lower groups. She always was and still is an amazing creative person and I wish this wasn't so undervalued at school!

I did a whole post on creativity and education and what I learnt at art school because I feel so strongly about this!

Interesting post, thank you.


Quilt Architect said...

I am definitely going to buy The Cube book for my children when they get older. That is a great idea Arlee.

Lynn I did not notice the poem was shaped like a cicada till you pointed it out. Really coincidental. You have a good eye.

I like Steiner's philosophy of education. Thank you for sharing your experience. Have been looking at Indigo Child on wiki...and other sites. I think I am an Indigo Child, as are my children.

Kari said...

I am so sad that you had such a terrible school experience. It should absolutely not be that way. I have always railed against "grouping" children ~ I love the "whole child, whole class" philosophy. And you are so right about teaching to each child's strengths. We used Howard Gardner's ideas of 'multiple intelligences" in my school, and we all benefitted from this. We were an inner city public school that thrived on reaching out to the whole child. I am hoping that public schools will become as wonderful as home schools can be! Wonderful, insightful post!! xo Kari

Anonymous said...

What a good story. I can relate to being torn from a supporting limb before I was ready, and doing poorly in school. I have always secretly felt my poor grades were evidence that I was still "intact--with my dreams alive" and not completely brainwashed and dream-dead from a public school education. I would say the same is definatly true for you too! You embroidered cicada is beautiful. Thanks for your encouragement and inspiration.