During my years in school I spent some years in a building on the edge of meadows, a thin road stretching towards a village.
As often in schools, various people tried to teach us all kind of stuff of which they truly believed it would help us evolve into responsible human beings. Responsible in a sense that in the unforeseeable future we would be able to understand the world that we were living in and adhere to a shared reality in which we all would strive for the common good. Sounds boring, doesn´t it? Luckily, back then people still very much had the notion that arts and handcraft where to be seen as essential to the development of a healthy society. Children should paint and play and search for a spark (or waterfall) of creativity. They taught to use that same creativity at various stages of life and art could even lift man above his current capabilities and put an end to slavery. And many more carpenters, painters, welders and plumbers were needed than there are now.
In short: they taught us shit.
(text goes on below the gallery)
Every week we had a couple of hours during which a strange bearded man did the best he could to introduce us to a variety of handcrafts; figuring out what you can do with clay (and where dammit do we find clay in our country, hmmmm?!! – he also taught geography), cutting into pieces of wood and making a box out of it, painting, drawing, the works. Sounds great, doesn´t it?
I hated it – every freaking second I was in that classroom I desperately wanted to be somewhere else. Almost anywhere would have been fine. That´s not how school works, so I fought myself – and the weird bearded man – through hours of such intense … I have no words, really. Mind you, back then the most creative thing I would be doing was put potato crisps on a pizza. Even the tomato ketchup was just a blob, ok? Creative as a dead plant.
Anyway, stay with me. The plot thickens!
While trying to replicate the mentioned meadows, over which we had a magnificent view, with paint of some sort, most of us – of course – were not putting nearly enough variation in our greens. Beardman screamed and everyone had to drop what they were doing and approach the window. There he enthusiastically pointed out the different shades of green, brown and even grey, long before, well… Although it could be very difficult to stay awake during his lessons, when in the right mood he knew how to tell a story. He went off. About the part that yellow plays when mixing and painting green and the edge between too careful and not careful enough when shaping the trees in the distance. Arms spread in wide gestures, dark rolling voice and sputum everywhere. It was a joy for everyone to look at the meadows that day.
On top of that I learned something valuable.
Painting is not my thing.