Things We Treasure

Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure

Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.

I really hated this prompt. Not just disliked, hated. As in, I turned off the computer after I read it the first time and walked around muttering to myself. Ah conflict! Good for the soul, right? Wrong, it’s not good for the soul and it gave me a whopper of a headache, so I simply refused to think about it for a while.

Three days later: How do you pick your most prized possession? What does that say about me as a person if I can pick a possession that means more to me than anything else in the world? Disclaimer: If you found this easy to do you are a much less conflicted person than I am and I admire you greatly.

If I pick something, do I want everyone to know about it? (Someone from this blog site would divine where I live from this post and race to my house to steal my treasure. Aaargh.) To make it worse we must write a LONG piece about this. Now I’m sweating. I must write  a long read about something I can’t make up my mind over………and then I thought of it.

My most prized possession is not a possession at all. I think of it as a fleeting gift. My most prized possession is my ability to communicate. That sounds really self-serving when you write it down, but not if you realize that communicating is a gift you have to keep perfecting your entire life. I look at what I have done so far and it all revolves around some sort of language.

As a teacher I communicate to my students with words and with body language. Specifically, I teach children to experiment with visual language: color, shape, form, line, space, value, texture. I teach them to not fear the mistake, which can lead you to your visual voice.  I teach them, “Each art work is talking. It is speaking to you from the past or predicting your future. Listen.” I believe that art combines the best and worst of all communication we have to offer as a species. Art serves it up for us; a mirror that is loving and provoking, whispering and shouting for us to pay attention.

Before I came back to teaching I worked helping a very intelligent woman who handled the marketing for a furniture company. She taught me about marketing language, which I define as the fine and sometimes delicate skill of making somebody want whatever you are selling at the price you are selling it. In that world I found out that photography is a language too. Product photography can make anything enticing, a cautionary lesson for this photo-shopped, image-driven world, that I now pass along to my students.

As a child and now as an adult I love music and art. There are things that words can not communicate. Deep emotions come to the surface when I listen to music and performing in band-I was a flautist as a child-taught me the power of group communication. To listen deeply and join in a common language. Music is the language of the spirit.

For now, the art that works its way out of my fingertips is a twin to the students I teach, young and simple, but profound nonetheless. But there it is again, the idea that the gift needs nurturing and grows as I grow. I wonder what my art will be when it is fully grown?

Now words have come back to me. A blog that started as a teaching assignment has become something more. Excuse me mister, but at my ripe old age of 58 I have a few things I’d like to say and I hear the clock ticking. I’d like to communicate. I can’t wait to see where this prized possession, this gift, this journey takes me.

6 thoughts on “Things We Treasure

  1. Wow! I too worked at an design-oriented furniture company and remember, in all the chaos of that industry, heading to marketing for inspiration and a sounding board. How we have all learned from that. Those days served as the basis for future communications in our own individual worlds in the 21st century. Onwards to more and more fulfilling adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debra, I admire you for writing this post. I have not written my W101 treasure assignment and may never, and I feel the same way you do. Your gift of communication should be treasured by you and all the lucky people with who you communicate: Your students, parents, bloggers, everyone! Using fine arts to communicate is really what makes the world go ’round! Congrats on a great post and for finishing(?) W101. Always a pleasure to read your blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. I’m glad you wrote it and wonder that you’re the only one I’ve read that thought of the ability to communicate. If it was a snake . . . 🙂 But what is a “flautist?”


    • Well thank you! Flautist is a fancy word for flute player…which sounds so funny! I guess flautist is a left-over from me starting school in England. Americans usually say flutist, which just sounds weird to me….lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for clarifying that. I was picturing someone with a whoopie cushion as part of a band. I didn’t think that was right. Leave it to us artists who “see” the things they’re reading–often times incorrectly. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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