Today’s scribble is inspired by my homeschool prep this week. I am in Ohio right now getting ready to attend Waldorf teacher training.
Although I am excited to delve into new blocks and reignite my enthusiasm with ones that I have already covered with other children, I know that the “heart” is a major component of Waldorf education, getting them to feel the stories through the arts.
I found a book at the library – Voices of the Heart by Ed Young. In it, Young explores the Chinese characters for various emotions. Each emotion contains the character “heart” in it. It is a beautiful way to describe the essence of feelings using examples that both children and adults can relate easily to.
For example, “panic” means “a frightened heart.” The images in the character are plants, hiding, water, and heart. Young explains, “Plants will not survive without water. When the heart is deprived of what it needs to sustain itself, it experiences panic.”
I love the definition of “sorrow.” Its simple meaning, “a sad heart,” contains two characters – opposites and heart. Young writes, “Sorrow arises when the heart is ruled by feelings that oppose each other.”
This year brings new challenges as the majority my kids are going through some developmental changes. Emotions will run rampant in our house this year. I can remember a lesson that one of my daughter’s kindergarten teachers always emphasized. She always talked to the kids about having peaceful hearts. My daughter used to talk to me in terms of her heart and the state it was in.
This image of her heart in various conditions resonated with her and this book reminded me of that. It will be difficult for them to articulate how they feel as they get older and go through changes. They will burst into tears and they will push me away. But I will remember that they still need me to help them interpret these ups and downs and help them understand. It is through stories and visual images that I will teach them about this turmoil and show them that they are not alone, that people before them have encountered these same experiences.
It is through the heart that I will communicate most this year. Whether their heart is divided, hidden, confused, blocked, or fearful, it is my job to keep mine open, inviting, tender, unfurled, and at peace. I will remember that sometimes words get in the way of what the heart is capable of saying.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.