January 18, Lahore
Today we sat in the sun and breathed relatively fresher air. I was at HarSukh, and the aesthetic environment really relaxed me. Its a little out of the city and that makes all the difference. The surrounding is all mustard fields in half bloom. These are lucky kids! They come from the villages surrounding the palatial grounds of the school. They have an amphitheater in the lawns and thats where we settled in for our two and a half hour session. We did the old magic trick—giving voice to a voiceless object. One only needed to listen with their imagination and heart. Several of the kids had the objects I brought placed close to their ears. They simply could not listen! I told them they would hear the voice as they wrote. Some of the kids really couldn’t write well, one was just bored. One went around critiquing everyone else. One, the smartest little brat, simply could not sit still for 7 minutes! One wanted to write about anything else than what the task was. They all were very happy to read their work out loud—even the one who was bored. It was lively and at some point they settled into their work—the silence that ensues with deep concentration. A few girls from another class came over and asked if they could make some books as well? Of course you can. Would I be visiting tomorrow again? Not tomorrow but next week, yes!
When time was up and we finished, more than half the kids asked for more paper. They wanted the big A3 sheets and had ideas about what the next book they wanted to make:
“A book about flowers”
“The work I do at home”
“The cruel king”
I'm exhausted in a very nice way.
I'm curious to see if they really make some more books at home.