Saturday, February 20, 2010

What I Don't Know

My husband walks into the bedroom this morning with his laptop, eager to share a video he found online of Michio Kaku, a world renowned physicist. My attention is yanked from a teen love story on Saturday morning TV and into my husband's world of outer space. I am mildly annoyed but also curious about what could inspire such excitement from my husband.
Michio is speaking about the concept of, what if what exists is not a UNIverse, but there are MULTIverses...that our universe is like a bubble that is expanding inside a space where multiple bubbles/universes are popping up and expanding, continuously...that genesis is not a one time occurrence that happened in the past, but is continuously happening. What if nirvana (his background is Buddhist and Christian) is not a place to get to but actually the space in which our bubble, our multiverses expand.
Whoa. What a way to wake up.

He answers the interviewers question about coming up with this theory by describing how, when he was a child, he used to stare at the fish in the koi pond, and see them as scientists. What if the current theories were made by scientists that were like the fish? The fish see only side to side in the shallow pond, the concept of "Up" and out of the water, and other ponds, does not exist for them. As a child he wanted to grab the fish, or the scientists, and pick them up out of their water and show them the other ponds, the other possibilities.
My voice in my head begins talking at this point, and saying "Wow, if we teach our children at school that this is the truth, that there is one universe, there is this that happened in history, that that is the one way to draw...than we actually limit what they can create inside of that "truth"."
We limit their world with the past. Knowing the way it IS and teaching that, in one context can limit. In another context, it can empower.

I remembered going to art school and learning techniques in one composition class. This is how you draw perspective, this is how to draw a cone, which is all great, there is a foundation. However, I was a "good student" and took the path of the realist art, always trying to make it perfect,limiting myself to make it look REAL, do it right.

I begin to imagine if I were an Art teacher now...I would teach more like my sculpture teacher taught, begin to show them how to draw a circle,in the context that this is One way, not The only way. I would ask them to create many ways to draw a circle. To take charcoal in hand and draw on the paper pad... and they might suggest a paintbrush and paint (still using hand and tool and paper, notice) and we may progress to pouring sand (still using hand but not a "tool") and then further still perhaps to sitting on the dirt and drawing a circle with one's rear end... or rolling clay into a ball, making found trash into a cone shape or gluing leaves into a cornucopia shape, all circles in some form. We might pour wax into a mold that is the negative space of a circle, use other shapes that are not circles to make a circle...the possibilities are endless...there is no right answer.

It occurs to me that in child rearing, school, learning something new, business methods etc...that I often think there is one way, A way, when in fact, I may be being like the fish in a shallow pond, or an artist using simply my hand and the one tool I favor. There are many ways. As I guide my children, I am committed to have what they learn at school simply be A way, not THE Way. To take what they have learned and expand on it, to help them find the other ponds.
I see this and I am free and excited. Before I often dreaded the resistance and drama homework time created with my 7 year old. Now I can see that the way he is learning to do his Math facts is A Way, and he can expand on that, create new uses for math in ways that I can't even imagine. So there is no pressure for me there, there is no strategizing on my part that needs to be done. There is no One Way. We can learn that way and then create multiverses of other ways... Ahhhh Freedom!
As I write this and listen to my husband laughing with our three boys. I am so present to his love for life, his hunger for, not just knowledge, but for the not-knowledge, the Unknown. For it is inside the Unknown that we create something new. Today I am going to look for what I Don't Know.

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