Travelling to different countries, absorbing different ways of being, can challenge our inner landscapes. Questions loom large as we search for meaning and belonging
At the Darbari Waldorf School we saw two kinds of cultures dancing together, formimg a new way of being
I haven’t met Jacques yet and what I have heard of him is that he is a very kind man. He inspires the children to be kind too. Parents have told him that if the children misbehave he can punish them by hitting, which seems a standard approach.
Something I witnessed myself.
Sitting in the drawing class an older boy was trying to distract me and others in the class. In getting my attention he hit my forehead forcefully. I smiled and encouraged him to start drawing instead. This was the first time I had felt the tribal way of being first hand. I have seen it many times, hitting, pushing, physical forms of dominance, pervading as a cultural
way of living, tribal in its roots.
I choose kindness instead. Lead by example for us all to come together as a conscience community. For positive change.
In March my friend had a chance meeting with Jacques, one of the founders of the school at Ali s Fort View Restaurant. She spoke of a kind, gentle man who I wanted to meet. Our paths may cross as he returns to Jaisalmer tomorrow as I leave to return to the UK. In the meantime a visit to the school he helped to create has been foremost in my mind.
We journeyed by tuk tuk outside of the city, the sparse desert looming into view. Workmen tending to the new highway, drilling and placing cats eyes, India’s roads improving for easier travel routes.
We turned onto a dirt road. A small settlement on our right, the school on the left. In its our grounds, a single storey building with two teaching rooms, a teachers room with kitchen and an outside area for classes in the heat of the summer.
And the children. Beautiful children running towards us singing hello and such big hugs. Holding hands we walked the short track to the school.
The day starts with singing, following by maths, English, drawing and handicrafts. Hindi and English, and of course French, fill the air as the school starts another day and new lives are created.
They are trailblazing new ways, with kindness and care of the individual. Rudolf Steiner would be proud.
Many years ago I was accepted onto a course to learn artist management. I didn’t take the place, choosing to continue with my career instead of taking a sabbatical to study for the 2 year course. Now I realise how glad I am to have not taken that direction. Instead of managing artists it feels more like introducing people I love the a greater audience.
Sourabh Goswami, a photographer from Jaisalmer, is one of my newest friends. His work is outstanding and he has a natural ability in capturing the essence of subjects he photographs, whatever the subject.
Yesterday I spent an afternoon looking through his collection. Portraits of the faces of Jaisalmer, the quality of his images were extraordinary in composure, use of light and with a subtly few photographers truly master.
He has many photos published in India newspapers however never receives any payment. Such artistry deserves patronage, something we can all do by supporting artists in honouring them with commissions and sales of work.
I shall be returning home with a selection of prints from his collections and relish more of this work to come.