Nourish the soul, absorb art


Every day is an art day

At first, I thought this article should go by its sub-title: Educating the Soul by absorbing art – and culture. But then I reflected: The word “educating” is just connecting the wrong dots, making the impression that the soul needs education and the idea, that I (or someone else) educate my children on purpose and with a curriculum. And that is, actually, not the case.

Art and the present


True art is not only the generally accepted and expensive art you will find in art galleries and museums. We all know that you can find true art in many contexts and that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. It is more about the state of mind than the actual peace of artwork, it is about how the work moves you and plays your inner instrument.

And you see: Art in all its amazingly different forms, has this one thing in common, that it speaks to the soul. You may call it spirit or deep being or whatever – I believe you get my point, whatever vocabulary makes sense to you.

In many ways, art can be discussed and analyzed, and understood in an academic language and methodology, but the thing is, that art is for everyone, and art in all its styles and differences makes a complete picture, and basically speaks to anyone in any mood at any age, anytime. It is just not all, that has grown up with a culture of enjoying art, reflecting on the impressions, diving into the techniques, and wondering about the nuances of the emotions or inner movements it's speaking about.

The Eyes of the beholder

In our family, we tend to do things, we are drawn to. Things that make us vibrate and fly high. We stop the bike to pet a beautiful dog or stay up all night to see the bats hunting on the bright Scandinavian summer night. In the same spirit, we enjoy all kinds of art, the beauty and the poetry, the edges and depths of the art, that we stumble across or go to see on purpose.

But there is, of course, an idea behind it. Not a plan, not a curriculum, but a value system. We know that the good life we want will unfold the most and the best if we nourish the soul. If we allow it to evolve, to breathe – and if we give it a language, teach ourselves to listen to it.

When we stop to discuss street art, dance at the outdoor jazz concert in Tivoli, or hug a huge pot of flowers, it is because the emotional life is so important, and the music, the poetry, the paintings, and the theater is talking to the levels of being, that we call the soul.

We love street-art

Imagination is a journey that never ends

I choose to focus on the experiences of art, preferably with my children. I love to enjoy it all, to talk about it, to study it, to connect to it – with my children, and I love what it is doing to us. How it unfolds the many amazing levels of being, making the creative mind greater, the joy of the present deeper, and the relations stronger and more fun, and more honest. I want to live a full life. At all levels.

Therefore, today, I took my unschooled children to the marionette theatre in Copenhagen and had an amazing experience. One of the characters said: “Imagination is a journey that never ends”, and I thought about it in the context of worldschooling and came to the conclusion that imagination, the wild, and flying thought is one of the most valuable gifts, and it needs to be recognized and nourished – because the journey is – like a ‘real’ journey from A to B – a thing that takes skill, that empowers you and make you learn stuff, you had never thought about, and make you choose hard, so you move the way that is in tune with your values.

So on a day like this, when out and about, it goes on and on in this line of art and culture: We discussed the architecture of the old buildings of Christian the 4th and the new ones being built right now. And we stopped to watch a street artist with a can of paint. We got lucky and met an Inuit in traditional clothing so that we could be astonished by the glass pearl art that is part of it (there was a Greenland thing going on in the city). We deeply enjoyed the Pantomime (a ballet) and the florist art in Tivoi, and even a jazz concert to top it all.

All of it in one day. We can absorb it because we have no curriculum and can take a day off tomorrow with cakes and grandma and computer games, a day to reflect and breathe out. Another kind of day well lived.

To be awake

So, to unschool in a big city is always an adventure. It does not have to be your hometown, but it could be. We love to dive into the vibe of the city or go hunting for the art, wherever we go. In an unorganized way, in a not-so-academic way; in a way that nourishes the soul and makes the moments matter, connects us deeper as a family, and makes us feel alive and awake.

May the sun shine on you


Cecilie Conrad

How to worldschool for unschoolers
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