I get an easy, but tough question about my dream…..
(I am working on it Chryssey:-)
A question in its purest form is neither innocent nor guilty; rather it is a worded journey in search of clarification. As I read a piece of fiction I am silently and continuously asking questions i.e.: “Who is the keeper of the author’s voice?”; “What point(s) is the author trying to make?”; “Where is the “message” for me in the story?”; “What other story, poem, scene from a play, dance, music, art object, does this scene/story remind me of?”; “Who am I in the story?” Questions are important, and lately I have begun to pay very close attention to the questions that are posed to me. For questions like “jokes” or “teasing”, are not “value-free”; in fact, they always carry with them the substance (either conscious or unconscious) of the speaker’s values, truths and spiritual dispositions…. I also understand why any creative art expression can drive you loony (but also drive you to a place of healing), because it is synonymous with invoking questions, both in the artist and the observer of that art form. Writing like any creative expressive form inclines and inspires you toward the asking of difficult and challenging “questions”. The asking of deep questions concerning the questions of life, can open you up to internal and external exposure. It is very different from writing in the “safe space” of a professional memo. When I think back to my own high school experience, my favorite class of all classes taken, was the elective: creative writing. I think this was my favorite class because it was the only class in which I could craft questions, as opposed to all other classes where one had to write responses to questions posed by someone else.
And speaking further of questions….
(1) It is amazing how a single question; inspired by God, can cause us to reconnect with our humanity… It is also amazing how different a question sounds depending on your state of mind; and/or the State in which your mind is residing! (2) It is amazing how a simple question in the hands of a special person can be so difficult; in part because you feel compelled to speak truth to their power, truth to your own power, and also speak honestly about your powerlessness; you have, as it where, the strange urge to speak without fear. (3) If someone is from your “spiritual tribe” (admittedly, anthropologically unsound:-), they will hear (or read) words that you express, but they will hear it differently from those who are not of your spiritual tribe..And they will ask the “right” questions;(is this a form of “spiritual cultural- linguistics”?) A characteristic of our “tribe” is that we agonize over too little analysis and clarity; we want to get to the “true heart of the matter”; because learning and knowing is what matters most in our hearts. We gather huge amounts of what appears to most people to be disconnected, obscure and unrelated information; but this seemingly “nonsensical” information can be recalled “on demand”, to converge and integrate in our minds, when we want to make, and find a deep sense and meaning of a phenomena; it is the only viable and essential way that we can make sense of the world* (4) I am fully aware that my former students are no longer teenagers (many of them are the parents of teenagers for goodness sake!); and yet I often struggle with the very honest (and always respectful) questions they may ask me from time to time. I think I have an obligation to be helpful and honestly authentic to the extent possible; and it is in the “extent possible” part that I find myself often challenged. Chryssey’s questions were fair, and as is her intense intellectual style, they are a logical response to my post; but I somehow feel that if I try to ‘sell” her an answer that is too less than true, she will see through it, and won’t buy it.. It does not help that I am a very private person, who is totally dedicated to privacy (not to worry about scandal; “excitement” consist of doing something like the binge watching of Kurosawa films, or working on my stamp collection, and now my new passion is baking!:-)…I am going to answer Chryssey’s question (first because I believe that it was divinely inspired); and second she deserves an answer; I just need some time to gather the strength and wisdom to figure out how to answer her.
*I have always suspected over the years that many of our ADD students were in fact representing a specialized group of “information hunters-gatherers”; whose learning and living style we just failed to properly analyze, understand and address. I recently read a chapter in Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book; David and Goliath; where he hypothesizes that this skill may in fact be a form of an intelligence.