Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, writing in 1910, teaches us that artists create as a spiritual impulse. Notice how art breaks down walls for a young boy, Jeremiah, and opens channels with some of our most hurting children.
Jeremiah’s presence is obvious in almost all social situations. He walks into a room and demands the attention of the people there, both young and old. Often he acts out this demand for attention in the form of all kinds of language choices and violent behavior. It is a creation of chaos.
At first, Caroline Cheek, a mentor at QC Family Tree is “astonished to see all of this chaos stirred up by such a small person, but he is force. His need to create a response in his environment captured me.”
Paper and crayons and a curious friend to draw with him.
Jeremiah is a six-year-old friend of Caroline’s. She and Jeremiah began making art together every week.
I pulled out some paper and crayons….Within minutes Jeremiah was focused, drawing a spider. He told me the story of the spider, about its arms and eyes, and about the bite it had under its eye. His ability to communicate through his imagination is fascinating.
On another day, he talked about needing peace and quiet. I ask, “Where do you go for peace and quiet?”
He drew a picture of a tree with birds all around, where his pet lizard is buried nearby. He explained that he needed to go there when he felt angry. Anger comes up a lot in Jeremiah’s drawings. He is so smart, and he witnesses so much.
With each encounter with Jeremiah, every expressive moment, I feel the walls of my heart open more and more, and motivate me to keep showing up with crayons and listening.
Art is often an outlet for children when they don’t have the words for what they want to communicate.
Through his drawings he tells me stories of death, conflict, comfort and hope. So he reminds me of
- the work that is to be done
- the injustice that is ever present in his world
- the hope that we can find healing through relationships.
How could art be a creative channel for the children in your life?
Tweetable: Here’s another way to open a communication channel with our most hurting children. Click to Tweet