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Posts tagged ‘experience’

The mountain before the tree

Thoughts on perception, experience, and knowing, as inspired by a passage by exestential psychologist Rollo May. I liberally mix my metaphors for various senses and how we experience through them. 3-4 min read.

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Create, share, and learn #el30 with Amy Burvall

This hour was my first in depth experience with Amy Burvall, and with aspects of her backstory. It was Stephen Downes 8th topic, Experience, in his #el30 course, broadcast on 16 December. (I’m catching up) I was aware of Amy’s art, but without the personal, without the moments of detail, I had never looked deeper. As she says – we don’t just want stuff to consume. One of the biggest things I took away from this video was that it took me beyond the externality of Amy’s art and gave me a reason to engage.

At the beginning of the conversation Stephen asks Amy about a few of her core tenants. They talk about her premise of creating something every day. Amy says, ‘It doesn’t have to be big, but do something creative every day.’ Stephen mentions that he does these 1 para posts, and none of them is a work of art, but you develop the sills… It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking something is nothing, when actually something is something. As a musician I know that the value someone else ascribes to my creation is up to them, personal, and very often completely unknown to me. Creation has value, and just because it is not immediately quantifiable or visible does not belittle or negate that value.

‘Beauty in the broken, marvellous in the mundane, wow in the now’

Amy uses an example of having a phone and seeing rust on a fence and using the camera to capture that aesthetically pleasing moment right now, the wow in the now, and then maybe writing a poem about it later.

I loved that.

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Creativity at both ends? My #el30 experience

Be creative. go.

That’s the hardest.

We once had ‘guests’ who came and sat on the sofa (for several days) and said – “Oh, carry on as normal, we’ll just watch the show.” That was excruciating. ‘Watch the show?’ I find creating an artefact to represent my experience that is not somehow interwoven with something else, an active part and not an external representation, very difficult. My experience necessitates connection. Alone or viewed doesn’t compute in my brain. All that means this task was very difficult for me – at least I naturally resisted.

This morning I woke up at silly o’clock (5 something a.m.) and had it. This:

This is a plant from our kitchen window sill. I love plants and flowers, but few agree that I should be tending them. This one is different (although it has certainly looked better and I have watered it now). Both ends. Cannot be contained. Does not conform to a pot. Cannot break it free now as it has adapted to the system of the pot. And it’s useful- it could sooth, heal, and even feed us if we needed. I haven’t decided if my experience is the plant, or if I am the plant, or if the community is the plant. Maybe a bit of all of it.

Catching up on quick thoughts #el30

Last week Stephen held an open hangout for his class #el30 and I had very much hoped to join. In my work (teaching) life this week was the week of exams, presentations, and submissions for the semester’s work, and so when students asked for help I did my best to make time. Some of that time ended up being during the hangout, and so I missed it.

I did catch up and as is my practice I jotted down some thoughts. They have been sitting on a page, not quite becoming a post, but as this week is about experience I thought I’d share. The first thing I wrote down was Roland’s question:

Is a reader of a book part of the community even if they never write anything about the book?

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