“I want my art to be sensitive and alert to changes in material, season and weather. Each work grows, stays, decays. Process and decay are implicit. Transience in my work reflects what I find in nature.” (Andy Goldsworthy)
I don’t know how Andy Goldsworthy does it – in a couple of ways! I have no idea how he makes the art he does. It’s quite spectacular. And, more importantly for my thoughts today, I have no idea how he deals with the transience of his work. It’s remarkable to work for so long on something just to have to fade away.
I felt a bit of that as I took down the final vestiges of our supermarket build. The last thing to go was the door.
I kept it up a few days after the girls left. It seemed odd, in some ways, to feel such a connection to the door. But I did. Funny, even writing about it feels me with emotion.
That door was a part of our classroom for months – first in our thoughts, imagination and conversations. Then in uncompleted form, forgotten it would seem, on the side of our build. Still later, in our day-to-day exploration, experimentation, and work to build it. And finally, as a working door, providing the only access to the main part of our classroom.
We went in and out of that door a zillion times! We marveled at it. We kibitzed with it – trying to make the hinges more stable, and prototyping different handles. And, we just lived with it.
Perhaps that’s it. Andy sees his art and creativity as a statement of transience. He creates it as such and in some way revels in the transient nature.
I, however, did not.
I knew the supermarket would only be up for a short period of time. But, I didn’t enter into the relationship with the girls and the build with transience as my goal, or even as my understanding. Each day we entered into the now of the build, the some time of our imaginations, and the ever deepening forever of our relationships with each other.
That door held deep meaning. It was the way we entered into a lovely, safe, joy-filled space in the classroom. Perhaps even more important, it was also a way we entered more deeply into relationship with each other. We imagined hard, thought hard and worked hard to get the door up and functioning – and that drew us together as a community.
I laughed at myself a bit as I looked at the door, standing alone in the classroom. What good is a door with no walls? Why would someone keep up a door to no where?
But, as I thought I chuckled. It isn’t so silly to be attached to this door. It’s not a door to no where. It’s a door still open to all those moments, all those ideas, all that love, angst, joy, celebrating, collaboration, hope and possibility. It’s a marvelous magical door, imbued with the spirits of all of us who worked on it, marveled at it and enjoyed it.
Perhaps after all, in some ways, our creativity is just like Andy’s. Our relationships, memories, hopes, and all the possibility that fills them, last forever. But, Kindergarten, is transient and brief. So too, is our build, and our remarkable door.
Thankfully, similar to Andy’s art, it lives on in our hearts, memories and photographs!