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Holly B.F. Warren finds an allegory to visualise mistakes positively and encourages us as teachers to deviate, discover our mistakes and keep looking. What will we find?
Errare humanum est.
To err, to wander, to saunter, meander, to drift, to swerve, to stray, to deviate from the path.
Are we not so concerned about “doing it right” that we misinterpret “doing it wrong?” Mistakes should sting and tingle ….the curiosity, courage, and origin of their journey. If we consider that we don’t purposely create our mistakes, but we might design the foundation to err as a learning tool that slips our consciousness.
Let’s imagine that we are taking a walk through the forest of mistakes and along the way as we look around we notice that each tree has lost its botanical name which has been replaced by a synonym of the word mistake.
Failure, fault, misconception, misunderstanding, misinterpretation, carelessness, blunder, slip, blot, missed beat, stain, smear, confusion, miscue, distortion, lapse, oversight, corrigendum, fall, stumble, misjudgement, gaffe, faux pas, off the mark. Each tree has its own characteristics, its leaves and blossom and its roots dig deep in our human unconscious creating the root system of our human knowledge.
Now take a deep breath and listen.
As we look around we might notice that these trees are not as menacing as they sound. Their branches reach out with an encouraging message and their blossoms speak of opportunities. A light wind starts blowing and as the trees sway so does the concept of mistake. You feel the breeze as an accompaniment to the questions that might be arising as your awareness unfurls. As it whispers you might not catch exactly what is said but you will be touched by it as you move along. You might fall over, trip and something might break or become out of use. You might release, let go and dissolve a part of your thinking that created and nourished mistakes. You might stand strong, stamp your feet, and cross your arms and slam the door. But the doorbell will ring again.
If life is movement do mistakes move? How do they move you?
How do you build the error?
Which mistakes do you choose to follow and possibly rebuild?
Who made the mistake?
What riches do mistakes bring?
What do you see the mistakes with? Eyes, ears, touch, tasting, movement?
How much do your mistakes nurture the evolution of who you see yourself to be?
If mistakes makes us wander, what is the destination? Perhaps we will only find out at the end.
Mistakes might be our personal trip on our own stumbles discovering where we tripped while erring.Mind wandering and the patience to keep looking into them might unfold the creases and folds that wrap our mistakes.
What will we find? What we can see and what will be revealed if we keep looking into them? A reflection? An image? A word? A sound? Or nothing.
As teachers and individuals we might want to wander and err. We might want to consider the legacy of our mistakes and mindsets to set on a journey that unfurls uncertainty, insight, and the love of understanding where questions make us who we choose to be and what to pass on.
Our mistakes shape who we are until . . . I will let you continue the sentence.
Visual Wandering in mistakes.
How can the meaning of our own mistakes become a reflection using the visual arts? Mind wandering and the patience to keep looking into them might unfold the creases and folds. What will be found? What we can see and what will be revealed if we keep looking with different eyes which are not just our physical eyes . . .
Three generations met to discuss the essence of mistakes. Thoughts, emotions and shared wisdom created the artwork which is just the beginning of a journey which began in a small bookshop –
L’Omino di Inchiostro, where great things can happen.
Holly B.F. Warren currently works as an atelierista and creator of the Think Tank across International schools in Milan that are part of the Inspired Education Group.