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Friday, 13 June 2014

Of Shadows … A Poem About Being Creative

Of Shadows 

A Poem About Being

By Daniel Dunlevie

Her craft is always on her mind.
Doodling, sketching, shaping, evolving, moving, transforming.
To develop as an expression, an outlet.
A voice to be heard with the listener obscure, irrelevant, meaningless.
They’re her interactions with the world, controlling the nature of life.
The expectations of pressure, the importance of outsiders. 
How they see her.  How she sees them.
Glaring, judging, comparing, smirking, whispering, yelling.
But those feelings disperse when she’s in flow.
They float away to reform when she looks at what others have done.
Glaring images.  Judging impacts.  Comparing techniques.  Smirking at the cheek.  Whispering at beauty.  Yelling with inspiration.
All of these have redefined who she is. Who she is becoming. Who she will be.
What she has gone through brings meaning.  She wants to change a lot but at the same time, nothing.

Power has been imbalanced throughout her life - in the hands of her parents, her friends, her peers, her teachers, her strangers.
Never in her hands.
But there has been a shift.  A change.  A belief that empowers her with direction, passion, purpose. 
An ability exists to articulate her mistrust, her pains, her contests, her courage, her happiness, her power.
This outlet has revealed a creative being inside. A being with strength.  A being that has lain dormant.  A being that needs to be free of societal shackles.  What is imposed can now be flicked off. 
She is the one who chooses.  She is the one who brings meaning.  She is the one who is powerful.
When she is immersed in her craft, she is in a world controlled.
Her senses are heightening to every sensation.  All movement innately create. 
It comes from within.  She feels the fire.  The journey is where she is shaped.   

She chooses the night. The darkness offers seclusion.  
Feelings of safety and danger are entwined in uncertainty.  Reflective of times that she felt obscured and confused.
She chooses her setting carefully.  It reflects the synergy of her life. There for everyone to see, yet it’s only seen by those who seek it.  Those who aren’t tussling over power.  
Participants in a world that can be harsh, ugly, and intimidating, yet remain soft, beautiful, and tender.
What she has found is her being.  What she has found is her worth.

Dan - Why the poem???

Great question, Dan. Well, I was thinking that as teachers we can act with a "I'm an expert"  mentality where we direct and tell students what to do. But how often do we actually practice what we preach?

We tell kids goal setting is important - do teachers?
We tell kids to write a creative story - do teachers?
We tell kids to use thinking routines - do teachers?
We tell kids to sing - do teachers?
We tell kids to act - do teachers?
And so on.... 

But do we, as teachers, actually know what we're on about?
Are we just guided by teacher books?  Curriculum framework? Last years planner?

So I decided to go through the process. When was the last time you went through the whole process of something you teach?

The experience:

I walked around the culturally rich city of Melbourne to be inspired by what I have been inquiring into - Creativity.  In particular, the concepts of "Being CreativityDoing CreativityKnowing Creativity.", which I have written about in my last three blog posts.

I wanted to truely see creativity in the world around me. Strolling around with my headphones in I switched into viewing the world as an observer. Beholding the interactions of people, the movement on the street,  the natural and artificial environment around me, the smells, the sounds, the feelings. Everything around me I found interesting.
I started to really look at life.

In fact, I entered a frame of mind that Keri Smith writes about in "How to be an explorer of the world".

I took lots of pictures. Zoomed in. Framed. Landscaped. Angled. From high, from low - everything in-between.

The photo:

For the photo above I was just near the corner of Brunswick St and Alexandra Av in Fitzroy when I saw this beautiful piece of street art and it got me thinking, "Who is it for?" "Why did they do it?" "Why that sport?" "What was their inspiration?" "How did they feel whilst doing it?" And simply and most importantly "Who is the person who created this? "

So this became the inspiration for my poem titled, "Of Shadows - A Poem About Being Creative".

I would love some feedback.

I have written another two that I will post soon about 'Doing Creativity' and 'Knowing Creativity'.


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