hide and seek at nautilus teachings

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shel silverstein writes:
“there’s a light on in the attic
though the house is dark and shuttered,
i can see a flickerin’ flutter,
and i know what it’s about.
there’s a light on in the attic.
i can see if from the outside,
and i know you’re on the inside…lookin’ out.”

small spaces
are great hiding places
behind a tree
in a closet
under the bed…
children love
playing
hide and seek,
they giggle when
they find you
especially if you
act surprised,
‘how did you find me?
you are so smart…’
their face lights up
lips grin ear to ear
as they place their
tiny fingers over their mouth
and giggle…
“i can see a flickerin’ flutter,
and i know what it’s about.”
kids don’t hide much
they say what they feel
do what they want
and live every moment
like it was their last…
SCREEEEEEECH!
wait,
hang on a second…
hmmmm
does all this still go on today?
this summer was a huge
awakening for me…
during one week
of summer camp
in particular
the loud,
never-ending conversations
between the kids
was pokemon and video games
how,
‘i can’t wait to get home
and get to the next level of…
hey, what’s your user name?
do you know how i can get around
the…’
after two days of this
i spoke with the parents
who spoke with the kids
and the rest of the week
was filled with some silence
but mostly painting
and giggling…
when i asked the kids
‘don’t you like to go swimming
ride your bikes, surf…’
this group looked at me
like i had four heads
‘nope….only video…
i love video games…’
which brings me back to
hide and seek…

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what if the parents hid
these games
challenging the child
to seek out fun
without electronics of any kind?
what if when they came home
the floor was scattered
with board games?
would not the parents say,
“i can see a flickerin’ flutter,
and i know what it’s about.”
i then click on FB
and see the parents of
children
chasing pokemon
posting about vacations
centered on pokemon
UGH…
so it is the parents
who are just as
if not more excited
about this…
seeing this app addicted world
reminds me of
how grateful i am
to have been brought up
with no tv
roasting marshmallows
and hotdogs
gazing at the stars
swimming
riding my bike
reading
drawing
laughing
running through sprinklers
sledding…
i,
in turn
raised my kids
the same way…
now,
my three children
and i are all techies
all artists
we appreciate
the advances
but we also know
when to turn it off
put it down
talk and laugh…
with my aging
has come acceptance
i cannot change
the past
nor any one person
but i can certainly
be a role model
to these beautiful young souls…
i cannot change
their upbringing
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to all the parents
who believe in art
and in me
who have trusted me
with their beautiful children
thank you…
please, don’t forget
their time with me
allows them
to unplug
it gives them
immunity
from normalcy
standardization
and analysis
i don’t give awards
for anything…
what they do get is
absolute
consent
to use their
imagination and
express themselves
through movement and color…
there are
‘no art rules,
no boxes’
what they learn
is,
everyone
can create…
remember the tiny giggler
from hide and seek
with their hand placed
upon their lips
face all lit up?
this
THIS
is the expression
i see
when your kids
spend time
with me
in my studio…
and for this
i am truly thankful…
oh,
and by the way,
LADIES!
you also get this
expression
when you paint
at my byob’s
“i can see a flickerin’ flutter,
and i know what it’s about.”
i see the light go on
in your attic
“i can see if from the outside,
and i know you’re on the inside…lookin’ out.”
wondering
why don’t i paint more?
good question,
why not?

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