Replying to LO28372 --
Sharon recalls for us a passage from a book,
> In first grade, Mr. Lohr said my purple tepee wasn't realistic enough,
> that purple was no color for a tent, that purple was a color for people
> who die, that my drawing wasn't good enough to hang with the others. I
> walked back to my seat counting the swish swish swishes of my baggy
> corduroy trousers. With a black crayon, nightfall came to my purple tent
> in the middle of an afternoon.
> In second grade, Mr. Barta said, "Draw anything." He didn't care what.
> I left my paper blank and when he came around to my desk, my heart beat
> like a tom-tom while he touched my head with his big hand and in a soft
> voice said, "The snowfall. How clean and white and beautiful." --Author
> May we all model Mr. Barta. --Sharon Werner
I happened to be studying the work of John Donne along with Thomas
Aquinas, Nouewn, Clare (the mad;-) poet) John Warfield and Ray Evans
Harrell...knot as eclectic as it looks;-)
"A single violet transplant,
The strengthm the colour, and the size,
(All which before was poore, and scant,)
Redoubles still and mutliplies."
About three years ago, maybe four I offered to run a workshop for some
people I had met. As it turned out only two came. I did the workshop even
so although it meant losing money through the hire of the venue, etc.
Someone I once knew was writing a book on leadership and they wanted to
interview people, mainly CEO's, and they published a few on a web site. I
had no part in the interviews, I just saw them when they appeared. This
one appeared first. I am copying it for you and maybe for others since you
used the term 'model' and the interviewer is an NLP practitioner.
"Hello C I want to talk to you about this painting.
That is the one that A * called Angels as he saw it as having two wings.
What did you think about him giving it that title?
I felt really touched that anyone (is moved) by it. I felt especially
moved that someone could have taken something of mine and made it
beautiful (A doubled the image to make the two wings). I never thought of
myself as a painter and now I do. The angel was just a small part of
bigger painting that I did and he took it and made it into this.
Where did you do the painting?
I was on a workshop in a beautiful country house with a conservatory and a
garden with a pool and A took a picture of me as I was painting this. I
was amazed when I saw the photo because my body was totally aligned with
the curve of the painting. I never realised just how aligned you could be
with what you were doing till I saw that. I was totally in the flow of
painting - a bomb could have gone off and I wouldn't have known. And my
body was reflecting totally the shape that I was painting - it was curved
in exactly the same way.
What else is there about the way that A worked with you?
He creates an environment in which you can relax and be creative. And he
finds beauty in everything. He wouldn't say 'draw a chair'. I can just
draw whatever I want on that piece of paper. I realised through that that
creativity is a part of myself. I have discovered that painting is a
means of seeing different things about yourself through a different
medium. I also did another piece of work that involved sticking random
bits of paper on a base sheet of paper. When I had done that I saw this
image of horses riding out of waves. I hadn't intended that - it was just
there and I realised how creative you can be through such simplicity. I
realised that creativity is something that I have in me.
What have been some of the consequences of that?
I spend more time being creative in my life. I paint now. And I have
recognised creativity in others. I also recognise how I am being creative
when I garden, and in my work when I am coaching people. It feels as
though painting has given me another sense. I always had it there before
but did not know it. It is not intuition - I can see things in a different
way; I can think outside of the box.
Were there any special moments to which you would attribute this?
Yes, there was a seminal moment on the S E course that I did with you when
we worked with A there. I did a picture and we were asked to hand it to
another member of our team for them to add to it. I didn't want to hand
it to someone else to 'mess up'. I was in flow at the time. A commented
on this and I realised then that I had this creativity in me and that I
was proud of it. I also realised that I should learn to share it with
What effect has this had?
I have got my father painting abstracts. He is an architect and likes
straight lines. I showed him what I had painted and he likes it. I didn't
think that he appreciated me and so this was very special. And he now
paints abstracts and I bought him a great big brush for his birthday so
that he has to paint big brush strokes and big pieces of watercolour
Is there anything else that is special about the way that A worked with you?
He is thrilled that you've done a painting. He has an ability to help you
to see what is good about it. I will spend so much time thinking about
what is wrong sometimes. Now I can think much more about what is
excellent and I can keep on enhancing that. This has reminded me that I
need to keep on modelling this. Talking about it has reminded me to keep
looking for ways of reinforcing what is special.
What else does this painting mean to you?
I am much more conscious about being in balance in my life now. I am
conscious of when I am in that flow. I feel absolutely aligned and when I
am working with others that is when I am coaching from my heart. I know
when I am out of balance and I remedy it. For example I was doing a piece
of work that I really didn't like and I realised that I was not enjoying
it at all. I explained to the people for whom I was doing the work that
they would have to find someone else to do this work for them now. You
know at the time when I did this painting and when I did the S E course I
was going through a lot of change in my life. I accept that life is a
journey but at this time it was a tougher journey than normal. This whole
process was an instrument in getting through that. It helped me to move
on and get balance so that I started doing the things that I really enjoy.
This process promoted that and I want to thank you for that.
Copyright S K
April 2000 "
I have found astonishing resistance to the implementation of artpractice
as YOU might imagine it from reading the above experience into what might,
loosely be called organizational learning, HR development..whatever;-) and
yet it's outcome are almost always superbly freeing of the
mind.body.spirit. Perhaps it is this very freeing that creates the
resistance all around;-) If you could just see the image before me of
this woman ***working*** you might appreciate why every morning I step one
remove AWAY from you all here and one step TOWARD the angels.
Peter Beamish of CETA research Halifax recently wrote this which I also
cross pollinate here. You know there is a very ancient Greek script that
says we must not be surprise when we SEE that dolphins fly into
mountains...or something like that...and that TIME has come, that morning
is come and all I see is EVIL gathering around.
>Try reading: "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten"
>by Robert Fulghum! From this you will find that RBC could mean: 1)
>"Share everything," 2) "Play fair," 3) "Don't take things that aren't
>yours," 4) "When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold
>hands, and stick together," 5) "Be aware of wonder," 6) OBSERVE, and
>more! RBC - "The Encoding of Information into KT" involves these and,
>emotional/ethical education, including "faith, hope and love" (1 Co
>13:13), and none of these are either "complex" or "imaginary" involving
>a "complex plane" or "imaginary numbers." Our largest hurdle in teaching
>practical RBC may be to "temporarily" (an important adjective) remove
>from minds, most academic (excluding emotional/ethical) knowledge,
>learned after kindergarten!
You can see an angel, can't you;-) ? Peter tells me that what is most
important is not the 'what' of communication but the 'when'. This is
something I am trying to authentically learn in my daily 'doing of
knowing' or 'presencing', but it's a funny old game is ART;-) I am wayyyy
to poor to ever be able to get over to be with Peter and his whales and
eagles so I use my imagination instead for now, as C did above.
One more thing, since I am mentioning living others and I mostly mention
dead others;-) I wrote to Margaret Wheatley about experiences of LO in the
round, at a deep and e~motional level I suppose;-)...because she had
written once in an essay I'd read of Aquinas' thinkings on doings in
regard to learning and joy, both/and. I enquired about something St
Anthony said, about some 'barrier' between this knowing and doing. Her
experience was vaster than mine yet the same in quality.
Let me end with something that might be able to be joined by a far
complexer/simpler mind than mine into a thread about our souls, spirit and
complexities of learningful relationships. First imagine our dear friend
Leo in a field, sitting in the sunshine with the ghost of Vincent beside
him and his several friends;-) departed and he looks at empty chairs just
as Vincent and others;-) here sometimes do, and wonder of 'angels' and
other more wonder~full;-) things still yet to be~come,
"Soe soule into the soule may flow,
Though it to body first repaire."
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