1.3.20

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade
Charles Dickens, ‘Great Expectations’.

March will be like no other.

2.3.20

The world is preparing for beauty. Is it?

In a world obsessed with beauty we will need another word, a word that recognises but asserts itself within a framework that stands the test of time, without blowing in the wind of popular culture. The shallowness will swallow us. We need more. What is beauty? How do we need it? We will need it more than ever.

3.3.20

Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.

Loneliness will define us.

4.3.20

I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.
Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being

5.3.20

What I learnt from the CASA batllo:

A stone thrown into a pond of water lilies in bloom.
Facade, architectural...Salvador Dali, Waves on a stormy day.
Bones with plant forms emerging, house of yawns.
Sinuous facade, masks in carnival procession...endless list of references
A living house inspired by Mother Nature
Form
Colour
Light
Interpreting things in a different way
Functional with aesthetic
Brake up ceramics (like Byzantines did)
Nature is ever present in Guardis cosmos
Personal and unrepeatable work
Concept, structure, architecture
Economic spine cieling - space and strong (gaudi contribution)
Constructive sincerity
Beauty of the function
Everyone should carry a hat an umbrella
Gaudi never did anything by accident
Fine line between genius and madness
Natural: honey wax, turtle shell, buds, spines, shells, pods, bark, sentimentally rock, corn, pinecone, bones, leaves, seaweed, wood
Caranary arch: inverted rope. Differs in height - uneven floor.
Meant to be touched.
Structural system: twisted Columns - hyperboloid capitals.
"Nature is a large book always left open that you should learn to read" Geometric nature: restraint, ergonomic, elegant, protection, control.
Catany: I blend memories with experience

6.3.20

Shifting sands

7.3.20

Melbourne visit. An eerie stillness, rain on my peeling paint window sill, a cold air that cuts like the steal of my airbnb door. A $1 beanie for warmth, $1 is that all I need.

8.3.20

My sister tells me I shouldn't come to Sydney. I still go. To feel the warmth of my sisters love, her painful embrace of the knowledge and unknowing of what is to come

I book an early flight back to Byron Bay, I send news to my friends, things are different here in the big cities. They are not ready to hear my words.

9.3.20

Today the shifting Savannah winds arrive. By the end of the day only one potato stands on the shelf. No rice. No pasta. No beans. You know the rest.

10.3.20

To collect is to gather your thoughts through things (Patrick pound)

Yes we need beauty. But a beauty that draws the fruits into a new flower, one that we are yet to see in our lifetime. One that is heartbreak and love and power and spirit. We must first connect to our body, not in a beautiful way that disempowers but an aesthetic way which empowers.

11.3.20

Aesthetic education becomes the vehicle for change, the way we dance through policy, curriculum, changing the stance of institutions and the leaders place within their value set, what they know and what they choose to know.

12.3.20

It's my birthday.

13.3.20

Fuck. What is happening. We cannot leave our houses. We cannot touch. We cannot travel. We cannot be with family. What are we doing here? What is the point? Now is the point? What is the purpose of what we do? Why do we teach? What should we teach? How do we teach to be sustainable? Come on people. We can only be the dirty fossil fuel age kids for so long. The world is trying to wake us up. COVID is real but COVID is a metaphor for facing our truth. The world is dying. What are we going to do?

14.3.20

To be sustainable is to level out, to regain balance, to sustain along a plane. Sustainability is here. Amongst the chaos and the confusion we are keen to sustain, we want to stay alive. We are in the 6th extinction period, 97% of the species eventually becomes extinct. We are not removed from that statistics. Within healthy minds and bodies we look to sustain, to remain in our body for as long as we are able to, its complete duration. We want to sustain. To rape and commit suicide on our planet is not a worthy outcome, words like this make us shudder. But we have been doing this. It is time to revert.

15.3.20

To sustain is not to keep things going as they are. In order to sustain we must first change, recalibrate, re-structure and then sustain. To look at sustainability within education is an ethical stance on what matters as much as it is practical. It is to recognise, commit and execute vision and strategy that aligns with recognised global implications that are larger than us.

16.3.20

If education is to reflect the status quo of mainstream society, sustainability as a fabric of competitive and economic industry becomes a key within educational systems that also seek to remain competitive. Within education the role of business, strategy and how to maintain a competitive brand are discussions that tend to stay confined within board room and principal, senior management roles. The transparency of schools as businesses at times appears to be shamed upon – surely it is not about business, isn’t it about the children? The utopic role of students and their learning and facilitating their needs drives campaigns. But schools are businesses and the teachers within them are their employees, catering to that brand. Teachers, focused on being in the caring industry are often removed from the policies, vision and mission that drive their organisation.

17.3.20

I am still here.

18.3.20

I am still here.

And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in.
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

19.3.20

I am still here.

20.3.20

Mindset is pivotal in our future choices. Our future actions. To embody our mindset is to become truly connected. Every body is different, every mindset is different, but we need a light to guide the way. We can do this through aesthetic education, we can reshape how we engage, the thoughts we have and the actions that this results through the language that shapes our future curriculum, holding us and placing us on an international platform.

21.3.20

The branch of philosophical science of aesthetics provides a lineage that ploughs down to the depths of our Western Civilisation. This is not to disregard the role of Non-Western engagement with aesthetics (Japan/Africa/India), these views of aesthetics need to also permeate this study. But to keep the lineage firm, the aesthetics I seek will be steeped in the West. So far, this is what I know. My world is still small. To ignore our worldly sisters and brothers would be to ignore the humanness of these discussions. Why are we here? What are we talking about? We are talking about aesthetics yes, within an educational context. Therefore we are talking about educational aesthetics, aesthetic education.

22.3.20

If we for a moment, take sustainability to be a key focus it becomes imbedded in transparency, energy in = energy out, sharing, deliberate intent to work bottom up rather than top down, or a fluid interchange of both.

23.3.20

To be sustainable is to be truthful, clear, deliberate, it is to question, reassert and share values. To be sustainable is to be values driven. It places ownership on the systems to embody the humanness of do-unto-others-as-you-would-do-unto-you. To be sustainable is to recognise that it is not just the shiny bananas that should be sold in the store, that sometimes our capsicums will have brown bits and that we might find a caterpillar in our lettuce leaves. To be sustainable within schools is to recognise that things will not always be shiny and new, that air-conditioning will not always be on, that tuck-shop-food will not be be served in a myriad of packaging. It also implies that teachers are real, not an import from the Stepford family.

To be sustainable is to be real. How, within and thickly laden world of teacher as role model do we allow opportunities for the teacher to be real, their sustainable self that will occasionally have brown bits and bugs, sometimes cry, sometimes experience heartbreak, sometimes be sick. How do we recognise that as beings we also need to be sustainability within the ecosystem of a school.

Sustainability is to recognise values. Sustainability often referenced and driven from the scientific element that drives change also recognises the humanness and philosophy of always driving, always challenging popular and current mindset toward a new dimension.

But is it a new direction or is it a reconnection. To discuss sustainability is to discuss not forward progress but a reconnection to what has always been, our humanness walking, living, breathing and connecting with the life cycles of our world.

It is a breathing out, expansion of our knowledge but also a connection and drawing in. So in order to be sustainable we need to connect. For most, in this fragmented world that means first reconnecting. This means learning how to engage, learning how to be present, to take in meaning in a way that is authentic and true in order to evaluate our values.

Sustainability is about asking the right questions. To ask the right questions we need to be in the right space. The right head space as people would say. But our head is connected to our body, to be in the right head space is to also be in the right body space. To connect hands to heart to mind in order to present ourselves and engage with a sustainable mindset, a balanced mindset that strives to be alive. This is sustainability.

Sustainability is transdisciplinary. We are now entering a phase where transdisciplinary concepts are shaping the way we order and construct knowledge. No longer on a linear plane, no longer possible to linearly acquire knowledge, our global world is too large, our ability to learn everything is impossible. To acquire knowledge linearly is of no use. To provide transdisciplinary concepts is to begin to recognise that key values drive, pivot and navigate our way through the world. Acquiring knowledge to fit within these themes is easy, it’s the concepts that provide a map to get us through our day.

24.3.20

I am a body. I am not a shell. I need food, water. I need to fuck.

25.3.20

We are still here, in our houses. The world unites. We are one living under the same moon.

26.3.20

The world is being reborn.

27.3.20

The branch of philosophical science of aesthetics provides a lineage that ploughs down to the depths of our Western Civilisation. This is not to disregard the role of Non-Western engagement with aesthetics (Japan/Africa/India), these views of aesthetics need to also permeate this study. But to keep the lineage firm, the aesthetics I seek will be steeped in the West. So far, this is what I know. My world is still small. To ignore our worldly sisters and brothers would be to ignore the humanness of these discussions. Why are we here? What are we talking about? We are talking about aesthetics yes, within an educational context. Therefore we are talking about educational aesthetics, aesthetic education.

Aesthetic education is already rich and full. Here in Australia we do not know this terminology. Why not? It has its own trajectory and path that provides a platform ready to begin to infiltrate into the language and science of Australian Education.

To begin to discuss aesthetic education is to align with the hope industry. To recognise that education, a connected entity now serves a place within our society that is to build futures through hope not fear. If we can achieve this we provide a resilience through which we can engage with the future.To discuss hope to recongise that within Pandora’s Box, hope was what was left. All of the other emotions must be experienced. How do we embody the emotional torrent that is our world? Through the body. We must learn to dance, learn to dance with everything that comes our way, engage, combat, banter, play, not passively but actively, what is our stance, how do we dance in different situations.

28.3.20

This places tremendous influence on the educator to provide avenues whereby the concepts that drive and facilitate thinking can provide pathways for engagement within education structures.

Transdisciplinary concepts become the totems that are held in the ground, they become the mayfair poles we dance and weave around, different colours, different players, weaving and dancing.

29.3.20

To appreciate sustainability and transdisciplinary concepts there needs to be an embodiment of these, a recognition that if earth and sky drive our inquiries so does mind and body. To integrate the science of humanness through sustainability is to integrate the science and humanness of ourselves through the ethics of aesthetic education.

30.3.20

Aesthetic education becomes another pillar on which to dance around, to engage in order to create a mindset and culture of sustainability within schools. Aesthetics, one of the oldest branches of western philosophy connects us to our core. From here the bud of ourselves can grow into what makes us sustainable. If we nourish our sustainable self we have the energy and will to sustain our world. Everything comes from within, change is fuelled from within. We can be pulled or we can lead.

31.3.20

To embrace aesthetic education is to connect the mind and body to see the patterns and rhythms of our world as presented to us through the ordered narrative of art. Art condenses the themes of our chaotic world into bite size chunks that we can learn and engage from. By engaging with art we engage with life. To engage with life allows us to see its failings and its hope and be driven by the desire to effect positive change.

So what is aesthetic education? Aesthetic education is you.

There is a language older by far and deeper than words. It is the language of bodies, of body on body, wind on snow, rain on trees, wave on stone. It is the language of dream, gesture, symbol, memory. We have forgotten this language. We do not even remember that it exists. Derrick Jensen, A Language Older Than Words