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Posts tagged ‘self’

Who are you?

(6 min read) “Who are you?” the small child asks, looking up with curious eyes.

I am a growing fractal, a friend you haven’t met (yet), a dreamer tethered to the ground by a thin thread like a balloon and rooted like an old old tree. I am a reflective surface that smiles back at you, not blindly, but with insight. I am content and mostly I wake up eager to greet the day.

What am I is a different question. How do people perceive me? To be honest, I don’t think many people know me, despite my being quite frank and open about my personal quests, interests, struggles, and daily goings-on. I often speak of using music as a medium to communicate, as it is somewhat free from the confines of words and their societal associations, and allows me to put people into new thinking situations they might not otherwise meet (or invite meeting). I think though, that music sometimes gets in the way. My quest is not to teach music, or to be a cellist, as such.

I think; I am a communicator. That puts a finger on it. Whether with the cello, or words, or sitting and looking, or walking with someone, I associate with being a communicator; one who communicates – sending and receiving meaningful exchanges. Everything else stems from that, really. Image CC BY-NS-SA by Michael Levine-Clark

In this #el30 course Stephen has asked for an identity graph without reference to the ‘me’. Graphs are tricky for me. There are levels of connections that bend toward the ‘who’, having to do with time allocation, responsibilities, physical and mental energy directed toward something or someone, and our own understanding of our identity evolves as we do. I will make one; watch this space. Read more

I, myself, as a tree

(3 min read) My son used to go for long walks with us and his grandparents and as we followed the footpaths through the woods he would look up, stretching through his open fingertips and say, ‘tall like a tree!’ It is an enduring and lovely memory of mine. Today I asked my class to do a related activity, having to do with the concept of self, and we nearly had enough time to discuss the takeaways. My university music students paired up and set about drawing their partner as a tree, or some form of vegetation of their choosing. The instructions were to NOT tell or show the other person your drawing.

This caused much hilarity with my room full of music students. It began with a few people saying, but I don’t know how to draw?!? but despite the lack of formal training, everyone got on with it and there were smiles and giggles and there were a few questions – what about? How do I? I assured them that there were no wrong approaches or wrong drawings. It was fine.

After a few minutes, when they had finished, I asked them to use another piece of paper and this time to draw themselves as a tree or plant. Oooh, this was more challenging. I had in mind a couple of iterations – but we only had time for a first drawing. If we had longer we could have drawn ourselves as our ideal tree, or as the tree we think others perceive us to be. As it was, just the act of drawing a tree-self-portrait was perfect for today.

Lastly we went around the room and showed, first the self-image and then the other person’s portrait. They were always different, and some were heartwarmingly thought through.

…She is an iris, because it is beautiful, complex, and a lot stronger than it looks…

and that self portrait was of a cactus in a pot.

How often do we tell people the good we see in them?

Without communication, there is only guesswork, assumption, and potential for misunderstanding. So much of teaching is about communication.

I didn’t have a partner as there were an even number of students, but I did draw a tree and also asked the internet what sort of tree I would be, and I got two replies, one in words and one in ink. My tree was mainly lines, and it went off the page. (I think of myself as a big tree, with old roots, and outstretched branches.)

“A fairly tall tree with many different sized branches growing in different directions with a sturdy trunk that holds the branches together and also moves gently in the breeze.” – Blinkey

by Ronald_2008