Finding Your Landscapes

English teacher Vicky Seelen recently shared this personal reflection with the Nobles community during morning Assembly. She spoke about how using her hands to create things, bead and knit inspires her in ways she never realized she needed. Now, she can’t imagine life without these passions and encouraged students to find that same source of joy within themselves.

I like to think that we inhabit many landscapes, and today I am not going to focus on my love of literature or even the landscape of my many classrooms. What I want to share with you is my deep passion for the landscapes that I have been creating with my hands.

It seems an appropriate time to talk about making poetry of pain, and, by poetry, and by using the word landscape, I am, of course, talking about metaphors. Eighteen years ago my brother, Geoffrey, died of AIDS at 35. How does one answer such a loss? Less than two years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer (I am fine now)—then my beloved father-in-law died and, a year later, I lost my fabulous father this past October. These are my pains and my losses. But I always return to color, to my hands, to work through the process of healing. To work through the process of healing.

I heard a few weeks ago that there is a wonderful Native American expression. How does one know how far to walk? The response: walk until nature shows you something. Walk until nature shows you something.

Somehow, this relates to the work I am sharing. Much of it is inspired by what I see, which then, in some wonderful alchemy, speaks to me and becomes what I need it to become.

What I am sharing with you is some of what I have created in the past seven years, since my sabbatical from Nobles.

Here are a just a few photos of the ones Ms. Seelen showed in Assembly:

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