|Photo by Clare|
If I say I am trying to "shape the year" does it sound like I think I am the Potter? I am not, of course. But as Tolkien says in On Fairy Stories, sub-creation is not presumptuous; it's not stepping into the role of the Creator; in fact, it can be an act of humility, in reflecting His works in an individual way. I don't think Tolkien said it quite that way, but that is what I am taking away from it right now.
I think that homeschooling is not entirely unlike writing a story, or a continuing series of stories, and each year is like a new chapter, or a new installment in the series.
In some ways, "shaping" comes down to listening intently. ... or looking intently, to make it closer to the clay-working metaphor, but for some reason it's always harder for me to hear than to see. Hearing, as in the Rule of St Benedict, is very much a matter of inclining to hear that one Voice, which speaks softly, while everything else seems to clamor and chatter. Benedict says it's a Voice of admonition, a word which sounds to me like a synonym for scolding, but in fact it means something more like "cautioning, urging". And that is exactly what one is listening for in writing, or art, or mothering -- something that gently tells your heart something that can't be gotten out of a general manual, where to go and what to avoid.
Sure, shaping is tactile, and I don't always acknowledge that enough, but knowing what you want to come out of the thing seems to require a kind of attention to what is not immediately in front of the eyes and is not yet finished by the hands. So in some ways it seems to me like a kind of spiritual hearing, of the "ear of the heart", an attentiveness of the whole self.
I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much recently! It's like a slippery slope. This summer has been a very fast-moving one; lots of changes. Maybe I'll write more about that in future. When things are changing, I can't seem to write the same way I'm used to writing; and then, the more I don't write and things keep changing, the more I have trouble deciding where to start again.
Also, I mentioned my spiritual auditory processing disorder -- how sometimes when I don't incline the ear of my heart seriously enough, I let the Voice go unheeded. Well, I have realized I can talk above the Voice, and interrupt it, in fact, if I am not careful.
I never got to the homeschooling part, but this is long enough for now. At least that gives me two more possible posts, the one about life and the one about homeschooling. And I can go from there.