GREEN ELEPHANTS

ELEPH

I blame the school system.
When we start kindergarten we are given a blank piece of paper and a semi-complete set of battered crayons that have been in the crafts drawer for decades and bear the sweat and tears of the countless struggling five-year-old Michelangelos that have gone before you. You are encouraged to be free with your strokes and see elephants in that wildly formed green and blue blob you have created. So far so good but the very next year they give you black-line picture of an elephant and, indeed, you must stay within the lines…think inside the box. Yes you develop motor skills but along with them you learn that elephants are grey, not green. Some of us never had grey crayons and in fact became quite comfortable with having green elephants trumpeting through our expansive imagination much to the chagrin of society at large, which can only accept grey elephants. Those motor skills? Tremendous tools in the pursuit of free thought indeed, but then along comes Math, Grammar, History and other assorted clutterstuff to take up the space that green elephants once commanded. Each of them is important, no doubt, but just as important is the ability to think creatively and allow those thoughts to breathe life on canvas or the typewritten page. It is also the freethinking, green-elephant types that use their imagination to take these sciences to new levels and they do it by exercising their creativity…not by sticking to the formula.
Obviously I have carried this to the extreme and I really don’t blame the school system (that should smooth the feathers of a few distant relatives & friends). There are many young people who have continued to express themselves creatively regardless of what was thrown at them. For these artists we should all be grateful especially now that government funding for all the arts, especially in primary schools, is being cut from budgets.
I visit the followers of this blog (and the White Wolf Moon facebook page) and I see so many young authors, artists, and photographers that it gives me a certain confidence in the future of the arts. It’s in pretty good hands and I’d be willing to bet that most, if not all, of those hands once held green crayons….

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One comment on “GREEN ELEPHANTS

  1. treneebolton says:

    I can completely relate to this piece! We live in a left-brain society, and it’s very difficult to stray off the linear path (and go against the “norm”) that seems set before us. I tried to follow it for 30 years, and never felt like myself. Thanks for sharing this…very encouraging 🙂

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