DAY 365+53

there is beauty in the decay

Days ago I was trying to explain to my students the reasons why the creation of an educational plan involves examining in detail many data and a varied information. I said that efficacy of a plan depends on that kind of diagnosis because it allows us not to focus only on symptoms and signs but also, on the real causes of the problem that must be approached through it

I wanted to illustrate all this with some examples, so I mentioned the eating disorders and I argued that educative actions aimed at diet issues are mainly focused on symptoms, whereas educative actions aimed at image prejudices are focused on what could be triggering them

Soon the debate started to evolve towards personal image as a cultural construction. We examined social conditionings, fashion market pressures and labels. We had talked before about diversity, so they felt fairly comfy expressing the right to be different and the great importance of teaching this to those who could be running the risk to suffer that sort of disorders

I was in complete accord with their proposal but said that it would not be easy to implement, considering that we all hold opinions formed beforehand based on the current beauty ideals. I affirmed that to do so, we should be able to embrace the beauty that lies in what society tells us that is ugly, the beauty that lies in those who are too fat, too old or too out of the aesthetic standards

And then I heard the silence. I looked at them and I saw they were bewildered. They were following my reasoning but I could see a kind of aversion to it in many faces: they were not able to go deep into that territory with me. And just like the interest in the theme (and the lively mood) started, it disappeared in thin air and the class continued without new shocking revelations

When the session finished I started to clean the slate (yes I still use it!). I could feel a slight trace of their youthful arrogance in the air. The same arrogance that can become stubbornness when some persons grow up and later on, results in frustration because the world is not the place they expected

And I silently gave thanks because somehow I have eluded that destiny regardless of my inveterate perfectionism and my own haughtiness. Because nowadays I am able to see beauty in the chaos, in the unfinished projects or mistakes, in what is not conventional or it is rather shabby and odd, in the failures...

in the glorious decrepitude of ancient cities,

in the forgetful ingeniousness and weak body of my mom,

in the skin around my eyes which is starting to seem as delicate and fragile as a rose petal,

in these (almost) withered leaves,

and even, in the reluctance of my students to accept that those things and persons we call imperfect can be indeed appealing

Cross-posted at Vision and Verb, where I have been Guest Blogger this sunday. Many other women share their passion for creativity and words there, please visit them, it´s a wonderful site

Simple things Sunday


janice smith said...

I am speechless. This is such a beautifully written post, like a breath of fresh air. Ironically, when I was young I easily embraced the beauty in all things, no matter how imperfect or odd but I have to admit difficult circumstances in the last several years hardened me a bit. I so want to get back to that place of the loving the shabby and odd. Perhaps it starts with my embracing and learning to love my own shabbiness...my own frailty. Definitely food for thought. Thank you, Zena. And thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday. I hope you'll come again sometime.

CatieAn said...

What a glorious post!! I had to read it twice and the second time it was even more eloquent. You have such a tender way with your words that seem to flower into these amazing images in my head.
THank you for your sharing---it is so powerful and beautiful. I also love your photos-

ben buckle said...

You made some first rate factors there. I looked on the web for the difficulty and located most people will go along with along with your website.

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