We have all been reflecting on 9/11 - the event that ten years ago brought us and our global community to our knees in profound, painful and heart-opening ways. Two essays that especially moved me are these - - -
(1) A piece titled Formulating a Deep Educational Response to Tragedy: Reflections on the Eve of 9-11, by Tony Jenkins, Director of Education at the National Peace Academy.
Jenkins writes ". . . 'Our quickest responses are those that use the least of our imagination and are framed in unquestioned and familiar ways of looking at the world. Human tragedy and suffering will always be shocking, but the increasing frequency with which these violent events occur is evidence that our responses have not gone deep enough.'
Articulating further what I mean by a "deep" response is where I return today in my reflections about 9-11. "Going deep" is a provocative metaphor. In ecological terms we talk about digging deep below the surface to reveal the roots. While we may see and appreciate a tree from the trunk up, we know that it cannot survive without the root system that delivers water and nutrients to each leaf and branch. Belief, cultural, political and institutional systems operate similarly: there are often ideas, principles and values at the core of these systems that are poorly examined and invisible to the naked eye.
Facilitating learning that capacitates citizens to see and feel deep below and inside is one of the roles education can play in responding to tragedy. Providing opportunities that engage learners in processes of reflection, relating, re-conceptualizing, futures thinking, and rebuilding should be at the heart of that deep response. While not exhaustive, these processes are the building blocks of a transformative educational response to tragedy. . . "
You can read the full article here - http://myemail.constantcontact.com/NPA-Remembers-9-11.html?soid=110...
The second piece is a challenging and deeply reflective essay written by Timothy Cahill, Director for the Center for Documentary Arts at the Sage Colleges (Troy & Albany campuses) in Upstate New York. Timothy writes ". . . after the cruel destruction of that day and the bloodshed and destruction that followed, the one incontrovertible truth it has demonstrated is that aggression never works. Not in the long run. It will not affect the change you imagine and cannot set you free. Aggression is slavery, and if we are not to destroy ourselves as a race we must, must, must reject it. We must rise above our baser instincts to fight and accept our human capacity to cooperate, to collaborate, to experience empathy and feel compassion. Love—only love—is the hope at the bottom of Pandora's box. . . "
It is good to gather around the table with you again. Soon I'll be ready to return to more regular blogging. . . things are starting to pick up again in the studio, though more in the way of quiet and steady industry than wild flurries of activity - which feels good.
Blessings all -