Sunday, February 15, 2015

Artistic Inspirations from an All-School Meeting

On Friday, we had an all morning all-school meeting.  It turned out to be like many an all-school meeting.  I thought there might be some big revelation, but there was nothing revealed that was as earth-shattering as I was expecting.  For that, my spouse and I offered a prayer of thanks as part of our evening grace before dinner.

It was an interesting morning, and I was intrigued by how many of us turned to art throughout the meeting.  One friend snapped many a picture, but I was struck this shot of a chandelier:

One friend posted this sketch by another friend, the artist Gary Tepper:

And part of our communication building exercise involved art.  We talked about our communication styles and drew a logo of our predominant style.  I was part of the friendly and unassuming communication group, and here was one of our logos, drawn mostly by artist-librarian Pam Reagan:

As for me?  I came away with the idea of a little book.  Our interim president read us a story of how geese pull together as a group and how they take care of each other.  Our past president, too, brought us stories of animals as metaphors for how we should be behaving at work:  penguins were his favorite.

I said to a friend, "If I'm ever president of an organization, I'm not using animal metaphors.  Nothing but gemstones for me!"

And then, I thought, I could write such a book in a long week-end.  I bet someone out there is producing these kinds of books.  Why not me?

It reminds me of twenty years ago when I finally read Who Moved My Cheese?  I thought, really?  Someone got paid money to write this?  And then, I thought, I could write this.

Don't get me wrong--I'm a poet, so I fully appreciate the idea that an extended metaphor can teach us a lesson in a way that nothing else can.  But I'm also an English teacher, so I'm wondering if we could reach for more dazzling metaphors.  I heard the word "goose," and I knew exactly what to expect.  Nothing turned my world upside down and showed me a new way to think about the issue.

I want to write the inspirational stories that will make people in organizations say, "Wow!  I never thought about it this way.  Let's try living like  __________ ."

This idea may go into my folder of great ideas, never to be seen again.  Or perhaps I'll return to it, after it has some time to percolate.

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