On becoming a teacher / It's nearing the end of a year that has shaped me profoundly. The dreaming of winter has again tugged me inward for deeper reflection. As my schedule of workshops for 2017 begins to unfold, I reflect on my passageway into becoming 'teacher.'
To pass on the skills I've learned and the designs that have come through me has been a humbling experience. To give away something so personal that has allowed me to be seen in my little world and then to witness it take seed in the hands of others is an enormous honor and a powerful way of checking the ego or the part of me that wants to say 'Hey, that design style or technique is mine. That came from 'me'.
My truth is– For awhile I believed my craft defined me and made me who I was and if I couldn't manifest original, shining work then I was less than worthy, or someone less than I wanted to be.
Stepping into the role of teacher (and I have a long way to go before I truly embody this big title) has been an awakening. One thing I've learned is that one of the roles of a teacher (or perhaps, in a general, a human) is to be a conduit. There is a choice to freely share and pass on what's been given, or hold on tight to your gift and let one's perceived 'greatness' or originality try to fuel the ever hungry facet of ego.
To hold onto your creative insight or channeled vision and keep it to the self is like a stream of nourishing water that is dammed into a grand reservoir that may be beautiful to admire, yet too cool and deep to be navigable and enjoyed by others. Or, one's gifts may be released to stream naturally into another small refreshing pond that nourishes life then overflows downstream to feed another pond and another, passing on and on toward the ocean.
So I bow to all those who have given me the opportunity to share and those who continue to help polish me into a humble, more generous human creature– Thank you, dear unknown ancestors, for carrying the ancient skills forth through war, struggle, oppression, and disease. Thank you to my first teacher, Elsi Vassdal Ellis, for passing your knowledge so I may continue to empty my hands into those holding their hands wide open. Thank you curious, loving souls who have joined me in my skill share offerings, especially Jane Gray Morris, for giving me the opportunity to let go, to share, to pass on the seeds and for allowing me to be but a single chain link stitch, or pool, in an immense lineage of bookbinders.
I hope to see you there!