IMAGE I NATION
IMAGE A NATION
Since I can remember, which is probably as a four year old, I have always looked with an artist’s eye. I have always seen with my outer and inner eyes. I am fortunate in this way. This way of being likely emerges from both nature and nurture. Burnt into my DNA and nurtured by my parents and community.
The way it works for me is basically a process of having an idea, seeing it as a fuzzy or sometimes very clear picture or video clip and then beginning to backwards map the process of realizing or actualizing the image into an actual human construction whether its a piece of art, music, text, or organizational function.
Since I can remember, I too, have imagined, along with others, how my human life can imagine and act to actualize a better America and global human society. When I was four, 1965, this type of thinking and doing was developing into full bloom. From my perch, my times were connected to past times doing the same and to this time in 2020 doing the same.
This said, every imagination and action happens in its present moment. The moment it is actualized it becomes the past. The moment before it is actualized it remains in the future.
These 2020 times are filled with imaging our nation. Imaging our world. Many and dare I say most, imagine a world where the fallacy of race is subordinated to a relic of the past and justice for all is elevated to the moment and the future. Many, and dare I say most, imagine a world and nation in which justice includes addressing and repairing the injustices of the past. These imaginations are cloudy and filled with things to do to make them clear and real in the moment, but they must be actualized in action in the moment for them to move from whatever an idea or image actually is into tangible and realized outcomes.
Every person is an artist. Every person imagines and realizes. 2020 is a year for collective imagining, yes, and for collective and deeply collaborative making.
With large and open eyes, our children are taking in everything we do as I did in 1965. They are carving their imaginative and active teeth in the models they see and don’t see. Some will follow our models, others, thankfully, will seek new models beyond the seen.
Life is creative. All organisms are creative. Life is a creation. In these pandemic times ahead, our schools can find a way to THRIVE by recognizing what some of our instincts to standardize, commodify, and normalize can sometimes quell, suppress, or quiet, we can develop our schools as safe places for children and educators to fully develop their creative selves in order to learn the literacies we need as well as to develop the imagination needed, both individual and collective, to truly make a more perfect nation and better human society and planet for all life.