Today’s Poetry Type:
Inspiration Is Swift and Shy
Inspiration is swift and shy
Its moment is a brief treasure
We catch it or it passes by
And we never reap its pleasure
Inspiration’s a treasure
we must catch or it passes by
Learning bubbles up from within
It belongs to us mind and soul
It’s so much deeper than our skin
Making us a more textured whole
Bubbling learning deepens our soul
A textured whole beneath the skin.
We must be free to seize the day
Big ideas flitting, darting
Each of us in our own way
New knowledge always sparking
Free to seize ideas sparking
Flitting knowledge every day.
Independence makes us all free
To choose what when and how to learn
Influences who we will be
While constant fires of knowing burn
Independence in how we learn
Free to know, to choose, and be
I’ve been accused at times, of being anti-school.
I stand for the rights of children to choose how to fill their lives; compulsory schooling isn’t, as I see it, the best way to support that. But many children, including me, were or are safer in school than at home, and, in some homes, sadly, there isn’t the kind of enriching, nurturing environment that allows people of any age to grow and learn freely.
So, for those reasons, I’m glad school is there to give kids more chances for that spark and sizzle of inspiration. At the same time I know from personal experience that school and school-things can get in the way of inspiration’s magic. By their nature, they impose arbitrary boundaries on the directions it can move, and quantify life into what “counts” and “doesn’t count”. Schedules, curricula, and parental demands to get good grades and “succeed in school” can douse that spark before it ever truly has the chance to kindle.
One of the things I deeply value in my own life, and in that of my family, is that, when the magical, ephemeral tiny lightning of inspiration strikes in our lives, it can be indulged, fed, protected, and followed. Our children are free to go where that magic leads them, as deeply as it leads them.
Recently, although finances are lean at the moment, we purchased a cello from a friend. Why? Because, two days before she announced she was selling it, my son, fifteen, had mentioned that he’d like to play the cello. We can pay for it in installments, no interest.
Will he learn to play? I don’t know. He did some research on cellos, and the day it arrived, he learned how to work the tuner and metronome, how to set the bridge, and how to change a string. He hasn’t explored it since; other inspirations have taken precedence, and we aren’t going to require lessons or any further exploration, if he’s not inclined to pursue it. Someone else might decide to explore the cello, or we may eventually sell it in our turn…but that doesn’t matter to me. What does is that he had the inspiration to learn to play, and we were able to provide him with a cello, and the time and freedom to explore it as he wishes, or to move on.
Some inspirations are like snapping sparks from a backyard fire that rise up hot and fast, then vanish as quickly as they came. Others become small sustaining blazes that warm the soul. And others take off, become great conflagrations of passionate learning, or direct the course of a life.