I was thinking yesterday as I taught class at the club….about open hearts. It’s noticeable in the posturing and negativity of a lot of teenagers that they are protecting their hearts fiercely. They believe and have been taught not to show their vulnerability to anyone. In fact they don’t even realize that it points straight to a weakness in the way that they avoid showing any feelings at all. The uniformity of “non-feeling” is shocking at first, until you begin to get used to it, and understand what causes it. And that is where we are after three years of working together. So each class, in small little ways I chip away at the shield. Hoping against hope to get a glimpse of feeling in their work as young artists. Sometimes I’m wildly successful, more often I am not. Most frustrating to me is the class after the one that was successful lol. Because I truly hope that I’ve finally battered away all the protections and we can really begin something amazing together. I’m almost always aware on those days of being naïve in the context of their lives. But we continue on because the alternative is for me to lose my courage. So most days I try to hold a space where I can mirror an open heart to them. For them. Most days.