Thursday, May 5, 2011

Moments of Beauty

"Artists of the world, may your different paths all lead to that infinite Ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy."
Pope John Paul II
Letter To Artists

There was in the Art Room today
a moment of complete and total silence. It happened during fifth period. I looked up from my work to see a classroom of high school students working, silently immersed in the process of picture making. It was a moment of beauty.

Google Results for beauty

Moments of beauty abound. I understand what it means 'to teach'. Well, at least most of the time. I feel right, true in design, when I am teaching. For me, teaching is a series of beautiful moments, and the most beautiful is the 'aha' moment. Every true teacher lives for the 'aha', the exclamatory-  εὕρηκα (I have discovered it)! Good teachers know that the 'aha' is reciprocal. Here are a few personal 'aha' moments I was recently blessed by:

The Lion, The Sheep and The Fire
Acrylic on paper

My wife was visiting a friend and one of the children, a five-year-old, was painting. When the friend's daughter finished, she presented the painting to my wife. It is amazing.  With economy of stroke the child rendered a lion leading sheep though a fire. Picasso said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." I am looking at the painting now, it hangs in our kitchen, and the words of Jesus speak to my Soul, "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

Backwards Logic
Cyanotype Proof
Christopher Shreve

One of my students has been working/ruminating on an art project for months. He will tell you, as he has me on numerous occasions, "I can't do art." He and I have shared hours of conversation, on a variety of topics, and I know that his mind yearns for logical order. One day I asked, "Do you know of the unsolved proofs?" This question began a new series of conversations, culminating in a printmaking project appropriately titled- Backwards Logic. I watched him today as he carefully arranged layers of formulas, screen printed on vellum, in a precise pattern. It was a moment of beauty. It was art.

Jamie Morgan - Enamored from Shutter Down on Vimeo.

Another moment of beauty occurred this morning before school. Teresa and I attended the Twenty Fourth Annual YMCA Community Prayer Breakfast. The speaker was James Morgan, President and CEO of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. He shared his heart, the heart of a father, with 2.200 people in the Grand Ballroom of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. His sincerity and humility ministered to me. Then he introduced his son, Jamie, to the crowd. It was a beautiful moment. Jamie spoke and sang with an honesty that is refreshing, and again, it was a moment of beauty.

To hear more of Jamie Morgan's music click here.

I think, however, today's top 'aha' award goes to a colleague- Amy McNelis. Today is recognized as the National Day of Prayer and she led some of the students in a group prayer.
Thank you, Amy, for that moment of beauty.

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