Sep 7, 2023Liked by Juliet Bonnay

How am I the first person to live this piece?! This is beautiful and profound. I spent many years working with children. Laying on the floor with fabrics being floated above them, taking feeling journeys... This is a familiar and wonderful thing. How rare am environment where such a thing can happen. How could you possibly be allowed? How rare to stray from the standardized role.

I cannot say how much I love this piece. I have so much to think about and make new.

Expand full comment

Thank you for your beautiful comment. I have to say that doing this work with children created a few problems for me. The children loved it. Some teachers were jealous because it made me popular. The principal was totally baffled about what I was up to and kept checking up on me. And other things happened... But we had fun! And I am a rebel.

Expand full comment

I think I had the same. I spent a stint in a variety of educational environments. In public school, I found one other teacher who valued play and close relationships with the children. We both ended up yielding to the pressure and leaving. The pressure was to be better agents to control the children and regiment them through isolating activities and assessments. What we experienced was a microcosm of what the children were to experience.

I had started teaching in a remarkable school, though, which was actually based upon play and emotional work. It ruined me for being shaped in the usual standard ways, because after that, I was always looking at the "wrong" things, listening to children when they needed to be told, playing with them when they needed to be made to work.

I was successful in failing out of public and Montessori schools.

I saw your Bobby Kennedy Eli Lilly article shared through Aletho News. Then I was reading these pieces about children, and visiting your earlier website. I cannot say how happy I feel, as though I have encountered a friend, who understands some things that many have lost touch with.

There are some great advocates of play and other approaches to children, but I don't see such heart and capacity to draw the connection between very small experiences and the huge and beautiful import of them, as you have. You are so much closer to the expression and perspective that I dream of seeing in the conversation. I wish to get myself to write and attempt these things as well.

You are a treasure for me. I am glad I have "found" you, and I am glad to guard for myself some heartening words to remind me of my own heart and the kind of rhythm it seems to be similarly made for beating.

Thank you for writing and making yourself available in this way that you have. I am way far (I presume) in Minnesota in USA. Well met.

Expand full comment