After re-reading what I wrote yesterday and receiving some insightful comments from the wonderful Lisa Nalbone, I’ve decided that my analogy of the houses was a little off the mark in pursuit of the idea I was trying to communicate. Looking at my own design aesthetic, I love clean lines, polished wood and lots of glass. My home does not, in fact, meet my ideal design aesthetic; there is a reason that Dwell is my favorite magazine. I dream of movable walls and ingenious storage spaces that hide most of the jumble or at least make it easier to put away.
So let’s drop the house analogy when discussing a textured life.
Instead, let’s talk about depth. Texture is not bland; it is interesting. Even the smoothest ceramic piece creates a feeling of depth through color or design. (Thinking of you, Brenna!) So when I talk about a textured life, I am speaking about one where there is curiosity and depth, not just about “academic” subjects, but about life in general with all its tangents and eccentricities.
Although many people who went through the compulsory school system in this country have gone on to live wonderfully textured lives, I feel that more and more, through high stakes testing and a push toward ever stricter “standards” the system encourages a kind of bland uniformity. Some kids, who “fit” such a system well, are never able to break out of the cycle. (Some are, don’t get me wrong.) The great thing about unschooling is that kids are never forced to be a bland copy of someone else’s idea of what is right or valuable. They have a much higher probability of creating a multi-faceted life that has a depth of curiosity and interest.
I hope that when my kids are older, they will be able, not only to pursue their own interests with passion, but also to appreciate the passions of those around them; to ask questions even if they think the subject is not of great interest. A person living a textured life is aware and truly alive, and not only do they pursue their dreams, they bring out the best in those around them.
What do you think? Is this closer to the mark? Do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts!