Friday, 24 September 2010

The dream

I have just been absolutely inspired these past few days. Really, just bubbling over with excitement, and I just have to share.

I think I've figured out what I want to dedicate the next portion of my life to. Of course, it won't start for at least another four or five years, but it might take that long to shape and plan, so I'm not discouraged.

A few days back I wrote this post about an art centre, a dream I have for kids to freely explore the arts in an open environment. At that time is was a vague sense of an opportunity. But in the past few days the hazy sketch has become a hardened outline.

It begins with a house. Since we moved to Orangeville, I have been in love with a house just a block over from where we live. It's a fantastic old century home with a yard the size of three town properties. No houses were squeezed onto either side of it, so the yard is large and full of bushes and mature trees. There was only one problem - at some point someone built such a large extension on the back it is the size of TWO large houses. Way too big for what I want for my family. I like the idea of a smaller than normal house so that we are constantly bustling and interacting with each other. A big house means separation, isolation and a whole lot more to clean.

And so at least a couple times a week I would walk or drive by this home, feeling a strong connection to it and yet knowing I would never buy such a large property for myself.

Then for some reason, something twigged in my brain. Amid my thoughts on homeschooling and the art centre and the advantages to living in town over the country and wanting to have large, treed land on which to roam, finally a focused centre emerged. This house would be perfect to house my family in one half, and create my studio in the other!

Not studio, conservatory. That's what I would call it: The Conservatory. A place for kids, youth, and teens to explore the liberal arts and sciences on their own terms, according to their own interests, by themselves or under the guidance of someone experienced or with a group of peers. I see a small library with bookshelves that soar to the ceiling, big comfy chairs and lamps throwing pockets of light across the floor. I see a music room with a piano and my collection of varied instruments and shelves of sheet music and a keyboard and laptop on which to compose. I see a room with couches in which a lively political or literary debate is raging, or conversely a small reading of a Shakespeare play. I perhaps even see a kitchen in which the sciences are applied in real life and from which a delicious aroma seeps throughout the house. I see a large open room with old wooden floors polished up and reflecting a group of dancers learning to imitate the graceful motions of their leader in front, or a lively musical being staged.

It would be a place where someone with experience could come and teach a class on their particular area of expertise, without having to pay and arm and a leg for a space to run the class, and the youth enrolled in the class wouldn't have to break open their piggy banks to indulge their creativity. Local artists, literature lovers, scientists and naturalists drop in to have a cozy chat about their loves and lives and share some new discoveries with wide-eyed onlookers.

Do you see it? I feel like this place already exists and I'm just going to help bring it to the rest of the world. Kind of like that old adage of an artist who doesn't carve a statue from marble; he simply chips away the unnecessary pieces to reveal what was already there. Next week I'm going to visit with a real estate agent and let them know that when that house comes up for sale, I'm going to buy it. I have no idea when that will be, but I will trust in God that when (and if) it is time for me to pursue this course, He will make it happen.

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