Trust the Process – A letter to my Pages students
Trust the Process
A letter to my Pages students: (I am just like you!)
I am nervous and anxious, constantly in a state of brainstorming before the Pages planning begins.Т Wondering which class would receive the partnership best–wondering if my ideas will connect with the big ideas, wondering if the resident artists would meld with the students and the process. Remembering to trust the process.
Open sharing about expectations, remind me that we all experience jitters when meeting people for the first time, and hope for connections. We all desire to be the kind of educators that make the conditions just right for students to discover themselves, exchange ideas, and push beyond limitations. We want them to know that art can make a life. Nothing is easy, but exposure to examples of those who have mastered the creative hustle and live a life of passion can spark a vision in a young mind.
We become family as we pull on our struggles. Mine through words and lay out phrases on the paper that tell of our human experience. I realize that people are starting to see me. They no longer see the outfit I chose to wear today, or the way I styled my hair, or the size and shape of my physical body. Through the words I so carefully arrange on paper, they see my battle with disclosure, but my willingness to be vulnerable, and my visionary thinking. I find the kindness so often sought after, like sunshine on a dull, cloudy day.
When Michelle Sipes comes to coach you in your steps outside your routine, I watch your apprehension in the cooperative movement, eager to gain a new perspective. I watch your foot fall into the new spaces at the Wexner. I see your eyes open wide in the spacious room crowded with “truisms” from Jenny Holzer, making connections and grasping to make the foreign familiar. I catch you barely missing a step on a marble, because I imagine you did not expect to see them on the floor of Maya Lin’s work. I listen to the whistling from the record player as you carefully select a scan from Ann Hamilton to take home as your own. I see you, not just your physical body, but the experience you bring to the table, the expansion in your mind, and the open minded, independent creative thinker you are. I see your potential and I am so proud of you.Т
Growth happens with steps outside your muscle memory. Unpack what you know and lay it out on the table so that it can be ironed out to find meaning and bundled up with new potential. Map out a new path to move forward. Step outside of your comfort zone. Find ways to let people know that you have something to say.Т Discover the anxiety on display from visual artists. Wonder about the motivation behind the materials and the purpose of their placement. Treasure the value in your own interpretation without judgment. Trust the process of bringing the intangible to form. In time, the cloth is made, thread by thread. Trust the process with me.Т Т
I saw the same apprehension and anxiety in my students as they experienced the wonder and power of art. I am excited to see them grow with each new experience, just as I do. Thank you for sharing the beautiful images of this growth.