This post contains my notes on a meeting about educating awareness that I attended today:
How do children discover that their grip on things is to be educated and improved and practised? Which exercises do they give themselves to be able to grasp objects so that they can hold them?
Gattegno (1981), Children and Mathematics MT94
Dave invites us to pick up the cubes that are resting on our chairs. We are to become present to our cubes, to these objects, at this time. I rest my yellow cube on my leg, at a distance, as does John, as the rest of the group roll and rotate their cubes in their hands, getting to know their cubes. My attention is drawn to watching others, drawn away from my cube.
Dave then asks us to put our cubes out of sight, and to imagine rotating our cubes. Some of us close our eyes, some of us do not.
When we close our eyes, what do we imagine? Do we imagine the same thing? If not, what is it we ‘see’? The language of description is difficult here.
We talk about our imagined cubes; some have colour, some are skeletal. Did anyone imagine their particular cube that they were holding a moment ago? Or do we imagine only the general?
For me, there is no image at all. I am reminded of recent conversations with my partner - she sees images, but I do not. I am reminded of not playing make-believe as a child.
Which came first, a lack of ability to imagine, or a lack of opportunity to imagine? Is this connected to my difficulty in being present? Can we learn to be present? Is it something we can practise?
My difficulty in being present may explain why my cube remains distant.
We start a reading about ‘coming into contact with the energy within’ for ‘those who struggle to get out of absolutes’.
I am reminded of holding my daughter as she fell asleep the night before, getting to know her, being present with her.