I'm teaching in special education for the next few weeks as a long term sub. They have difficulty finding people to come in and teach. And it isn't easy. But it is something I have found I have a love for.
Students in special education have been dealt a more difficult hand than most of us. They are what the world would call "flawed" in some area. However, these "flaws" only make their spirits shine more brightly. Again and again, whether working with a kid on the autistic spectrum, cerebral palsy, or Downs syndrome; I see these personalities, quirks, and ability to overcome great difficulty, as one of God's greatest, purest gifts. Each one a miracle. Every day.
Albert Einstein was one of those kids. Today, many think he would have been labeled with autistism or Asperger's. Not good completing schoolwork, obstinate, organizational skills lacking, interpersonal and social skills lagging behind. What if those labels had kept him from becoming who he was, or kept his ideas from jumping into the world's psyche? What if his "flaws" had kept him from developing his particular creativity?
My paintings are a manifestation of my heart, an extension of my spirit. And when I paint, I strive to have that come through my paintbrush so that I recognize it when it spills onto the paper. They are certainly not perfect. They are as flawed as the person who creates them (very).
But then again perfection is not art in the purest sense. An artist can draw a perfect rendition of a house, for instance, and it may still be completely void of life. There is admiration to the perspective, line and dimensions, but no visceral reaction.
If, however, that same house is drawn by an artist who grew up there, and has filled it with the feeling and love of childhood, family, home... that, my friend, is a piece of art. Even if the detail or shading is not exact.
Art is play, the abstract of perfection. Art is the spirit filtering down through human, flawed hands. Our hands. And it is exactly as it is supposed to be!
So whatever it is that you do, and however flawed you believe it is, or you are, remember that you have something that cannot be replicated. You have a soul and spirit that is yours and no one else's . Other's recognize your beauty even when you do not. God loves you when you cannot love yourself, and the world waits for your very particular "flaw" to stand up and show itself, transforming the world in the process.
The shape of each soul is different. An individual is a carefully fashioned, unique world. The shape of the flaw that each person carries is also different. The flaw is the special shape of personal limitation, angled at a unique awkwardness to the world, it makes our difficulty and challenge in the world different from that of others. When we stop seeing the flaw as a disappointment and exception to an otherwise laudable life, we begin to glimpse the light and hidden wisdom that the flaw holds. "- John O'donohue
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