Some Thoughts from The Chocorua Library

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Slider | Comments Off on Some Thoughts from The Chocorua Library

Some Thoughts from The Chocorua Library

‘I painted my world, my life,  all the things I loved, all the things I dreamed of. all the things I could not say in words.”

Marc Chagall’s words are read to a group of nine children in the Library today.  We are embarking on a Quest, an adventure, inspired by the Library’s newly invented “Quistolio” which is a hand-made book, created by the librarians, lumpy and bumpy, with pockets, fold out pages, different textures.  It is built to invite exploration, questioning, experimentation, poetry, art, writing, ………..and it welcomes new kinds of pages, add-ons, changes.

‘The children start to draw, draw to the words, draw with them.
The children are silent, save for the scratching of pencils and this gives Chagall’s words space to travel the air.

“I could not paint like everyone else at Art School” he wrote.  “…I wanted to paint memories of my beloved Russia…the way I saw everything as a child….I knew my art needed to fly, to fly free……I turned my canvases upside down…..painted on bits of tablecloths and sheets and shirts…..I began to write poetry, because to do so is as natural as breathing…..

It is a different kind of listening this to that which happened earlier.  Earlier, the children listened to poetry read aloud, their own poetry written this morning, and poetry pulled from the shelves.

“Drawings of the lake
Giants ruffling the smooth surface
Portraits for the sky”

Brittle branches fall
In random calligraphy
On brilliant fresh snow.”

The poems become tangible as they fly in  to sit in  the library’s old, comforting lap.  The children feel safe reading.  They are not criticised by the grand old tomes that surround them on all these walls. Instead, they feel they are joining the ranks of all these thousands of authors who have picked up pens and written, thought, wondered, pictured, imagined………………

And when they need a break, as we all surely do when we have been thinking, discussing,  drawing, writing, imagining ~ three of them play chess and delight in its frustrations:   “Why does the Queen get to do more things than the pawns?”

Over Sea Under Stone, by Susan Cooper is read aloud to them, as they snuggle down in the library’s armchairs and sofa.
“A quest can take years and years….and in the end you may not even get there….”

Well, today, I think these children have already taken some wondrous steps in “getting there” on our Quest.