Friday, 14 March 2008
Highs and lows
The day started on a terrific high. We had an assembly today at school and for the first time we recognised the traditional owners of the land. This is something that will be done at all assemblies from now on. The kids in the year 7 class had been looking at Australian history and talking about Sorry day and why it happened. The music specialist was singing a song called 'Sorry song' especially for the occasion and asked if I could do something with the kids in art to go with this theme.
I decided to have the kids each make a hand and decorate it and place them in the garden in the middle of the school and invite parents and the growing list of 'important' people who were being asked to attend to make one to add to the art installation. The most important people who were invited and came, were two aboriginal women one a local elder and the other one of the stolen generation.
They were both moved to tears by the whole day and listening to their stories made me very emotional ( yes I cried too!) It felt really good to have done something concrete to make a difference, just a small thing, even if it was for two individuals. I also think that it was great for the kids to see the human side of the words 'The stolen Generation" it is now real to them in that they have met and spoken to someone who had been there. Along with that they got to see the impact that the arts can have in conveying a message and they saw how it can evoke emotions.
It was beautiful. I even sang the national anthem again after several years of silent protest against the government and it's archaic attitudes. I was embarrassed by the flag and anthem and what it stood for. Today I felt a bit more hopeful.
Then the low.....
I got home today to a letter from the council. I didn't have approval for my studio. I had it for the pergola but not for the bit enclosed. A grumpy neighbor has complained to the council about a privacy screen I added from the pergola to the fence(because they raised the land on their side and looked into my kitchen every time they drove past) The council came to inspect and now I've been ordered to remove it all! I will have to try putting in retro plans I think it is called. Cross your fingers for me! Hopefully it will work out and the neighbor will finally sell his house, he has already moved.
It has been a very emotional day.