The Things You Remember


Well that twelfth time teaching in Australia is over. I am back home remembering how wonderful it all was. Taking photos helps bring back everything around the initial reason for holding onto a moment. I can hear the students’ voices, laughter and rustling of tools and materials while they dip into places they never thought to explore. Above is a kangaroo family and the constant efforts to capture the essence of color and shapes of the magical Eucalyptus leaves. What time I had on my own was in pursuit of leaves, kangaroos and soaking up the experience of being there again.

Australian students are in a class of their own. I simply set up an idea to work around and they take off. They sometimes even have completed works based on that theme before I even arrive and are just getting started. This time I watched and recorded their hands, their collections of materials and their tools. Take a look here at hands.

Boat building.

Assembling small collections of books with memories.

Putting pieces together.

Spinning fine threads of paper.

Turning their paper threads holding secret words into sails for a boat.

Making compartments for more secrets.

Working on white line prints.

Presenting their finished work.

The beautiful pincushions!

And the things they bring to rummage through.

Inspiring isn’t it? To just be among them and their bits and pieces makes me glad I say, “Yes, I will come back and start all over again.”

Just one step over the threshold and I am busy trying not to miss a thing. On the door of one of my classes they posted this series of signs because I told a student she was not to think for a moment that she was having a “crisis of consequences” about her work. We all just need to take times like that as a reason to “pause for thought.”

Clever students. Busy students.  All they need in a class is to be let go so I can follow along after showing them a thing or two.

And here I am rushing to catch up and being sidetracked again by those oh so beautiful Eucalyptus leaves.

I will be back.