I hold a strong view that human nature is highly playful and poetic, to say nothing of genius. We may be trained to see learning in a mechanistic and dry way. Our understanding of learning may be that of going through the motions and taking linear notes at which we don’t want to look later on. The idea of learning is boxed in and passed on to the children: you go to school to learn, you learn in a tedious, painful way. But my English learning experience broke my box. I didn’t even know that I had it in me – the desire to learn and do it on my own, to zigzag along the corridors of possibilities, to find opportunities, to experience pleasure of Experience.
So I started to think about learning and how environment is part of it, the fabric into which learning is stitched. Or maybe the environment is stitched into the fabric of learning? It’s a matter of what we perceive to be a larger context: learning or environment? It’s a matter what we view as primary and secondary. Do we concentrate on the environment and let it determine the learning that we do, or are willing to venture outside because we want to learn and are we willing to see the environment as something malleable, something we can change, something flowing, something that changes its facets. Can we embrace that environment with our ever- expanding learning? I am willing to define myself as a learner. Am I? I am willing to take risks that that involves. Am I?
Sometimes you come to a point where you can clearly see that you have everything and nothing at the same time. You have everything in that you create through your natural creativity (which you might have to learn to do), and you have nothing in that all that you see and hold has been originated in you. So you learn to be okay having nothing, you learn to be okay having everything. You learn to be okay experiencing different emotional states. You learn to be okay experiencing different weather. One day the wind will chill you to the bone, and you will remember how miserable that feels, the next day the sun drowns in the blue pool of the sky, and you find yourself flying across the streets wondering if you had been transported to another planet. Things change. Learning is change. I choose to take my environment and integrate it in my learning, in my mind’s eye I picture it as kintsukoroi art – a golden vein throughout my cosmos. I don’t choose to take my environment and limit my learning by its physical features. Physicality itself can morph. You are freer than you think. Freer to go where you want, and to reshape what you see. I feel that the golden sand on the beach in my town, and the flowing silk of the sea, is what I am made of. I can feel in a deeper way here. I enjoy my intuition singing in my skin. I enjoy the clean air carousing inside my body. I feel relaxation that this cleanliness brings. And then, when I let myself feel, in all intensity, I am transported and remade. I am made healthy again. I am more open, wildly open. I lose my anxieties. I lose my everyday worries. There is clarity about what I have to do. My creative work. My gentleness.
Learning is creative in that you are free to connect with the thing you are learning in any way you want. You are a free seeker, what can be more exciting than that? What can be more than that? I am willing to see now that learning itself is both fragile and sturdy. I want to compare it to a flower, a beautiful sensitive flower with great survival skills, it can grow anywhere but it can only bloom in a warm supportive environment.
I see learning, I see people, like that. I want to be their environment. I want to be the helper who aids them in creating that sort of environment. I want to add emotional sunshine, I want to add ideas, I want to add possibilities. I want to create the kind of energy that supports that powerful, beautiful, flower of learning.