Early this morning I lay in bed and an early life experience flooded back into my mind. It was the day I received my GCSE results from school. I felt a mixture of fear and excitement and opened it with expectations. I was shocked and surprised to discover my results, primarily that of my Art course.
Every year leading up to my final year in high school (even in my pre-final exams) I had received an A grade. Mr Graham was my favourite teacher at school. He taught my Mum when she went to that school. So I expected the same in my final year. What I instead received was a grade D.
Writing this blog, some sadness arises in the memory of this result, but as I lay awake this morning I received thoughts of what my life would of been like if I had received that A grade.
I saw a life of college and University art courses, a career in Art, a very very conventional career path leading towards some specific outcome. I saw how accepted my chosen path would have been, how I would fit in with my peers, how my family would respect my lifestyle choice. Basically I would be walking a very different path to the one I am on right now.
I acknowledge this sadness right now, of a lost and different life. It feels like the movie Sliding Doors which shows different lives created from different choices and outcomes. Yet I know in my heart had this path gone forward, I may have never looked within, I may have never looked for the sacred within myself.
It’s easy to say that the Art path would have brought forth a lot of enlightenment through the sheer creativity of it, yet I know for me, personally, going to an Art School, College or University would have set me on a ‘rule’ specific path.
A few years back I did a morning watercolour class in my local area, wanting to see if I still had it in me, the ability to produce art. I realised I did, but not in the same way the other students did there. Many of them had a background from college and art school, they followed the teacher’s way in which colours work, copying photos and objects on the tables around us. My spirit wanted to create abstract, and spontaneity, and difference. The teacher snapped at me because I had different ideas for my pieces in that class. Like any trained dancer I feel sometimes the teaching of any art can take away the flexibility within the art form. The freedom within.
An ex friend of mine who teaches belly dancing came along to a Five Rhythms Dance session with me once. I was a regular and she wanted to experience this moving, freeing, experience. She said she did find it a challenge to not dance in the set moves of belly dancing training. The teacher of that class said to me that professional dancers often find it difficult to release the inner art form of the dance for the structure has been well placed within them through education for many years. And so it would have been with art and me.
I love photography, I play with my camera, I point and click. I don’t sit for hours setting up my camera getting the lighting right, it’s a spontaneous and fun experience. Sometimes some structures need to be removed so that the real art can unfold.
And so here I am, walking an unknown road at present. Yet even though I did not get my A in Art or follow a route everybody expected of me I know in my heart, my art is unfolding now, as I write, I flow. My creativity has no boundaries.