shoes

I just returned from Guadalajara, Mexico where I was honored to be  a keynote and presenter  at the RedSolare  Mexico Conference, “En dialogo con el pensamiento creativo del nino” (In dialog with the creative thinking of children.)En diálogo con el pensamiento creativo del  niño(2)

The American School of Guadalajara was a gracious host to educators from 28 states of Mexico, as well as myself from Washington, DC and Juan Carlos Mela Hernandez of Bogota, Columbia. RedSolare co-director Sausan Burshan  of Yucatan and RedSolare representative Ricardo Rubiales  Garcia Hurado opened the conference with a conversation and an invitation to fill the walls with questions.

Tina Carstensen Lopez (also RedSolare), Director of the Early Childhood  Lower School  at The American School,  a kind and visionary leader surrounded by dedicated teachers, opened their classrooms to Juan and myself, and asked for our observations. The dialog was honest and I appreciated their willingness to engage in our ideas, provocations and interventions.

All who gathered were inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and the culture of their own community. It was a beautiful site to behold. It was a universal affirmation of the work that I am both committed to and challenged/ provoked by.

horacio group photo

Social Constructivism, Relationships, Creativity, and the Reggio Emilia approach are all exhilarating and uncharted paths to walk.

conferenceThe last evening of the conference, Juan Carlos and I were presented with beautiful books of Mexican artists and a precious wooden box with a glass top. Inside sat two handmade leather children’s shoes. On the back of the box the following poem in Spanish is typed, I have also typed a translation.

It is a powerful metaphor. I have decided to adopt it as my song of inspiration.

I have a feeling, you might too.

path

Caminante, no hay camino

(Traveler, there is no path,
the path is made by walking)

By Antonio Machado

Everything passes and everything remains,
but we can only pass,
pass making paths,
paths over the sea.

I never sought glory,
nor to leave in man’s
memory my song;
I love the subtle worlds,
weightless and delicate,
like soap bubbles.

I like to see them painted
by sun and spots, fly
under the blue sky, then
tremble and burst…

I never sought glory.

Traveler, it’s your footprints
that are the path, nothing more;
Traveler, there is no path,
the path is made by walking.

By walking the path is made
and looking back
you see the trail
you will never tread again.

Traveler, there is no path,
only the wake upon the sea…

Some time ago in this place
where today the forests a full of hawthorns
you could hear the voice of a poet shout

“Traveler, there is no path,
the path is made by walking…”

Blow by blow, verse by verse…

The poet died far from home.
A foreign country’s dust covered him.
As they left they saw him crying.
“Traveler, there is no path,
the path is made by walking…”

Blow by blow, verse by verse…

When the finch cannot sing.
When the poet is a pilgrim,
when praying will do us no good.
“Traveler, there is no path,
the path is made by walking…”

Blow by blow, verse by verse.

Todo pasa y todo queda,
pero lo nuestro es pasar,
pasar haciendo caminos,
caminos sobre el mar.

Nunca persequí la gloria,
ni dejar en la memoria
de los hombres mi canción;
yo amo los mundos sutiles,
ingrávidos y gentiles,
como pompas de jabón.

Me gusta verlos pintarse
de sol y grana, volar
bajo el cielo azul, temblar
súbitamente y quebrarse…

Nunca perseguí la gloria.

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.

Al andar se hace camino
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.

Caminante no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar…

Hace algún tiempo en ese lugar
donde hoy los bosques se visten de espinos
se oyó la voz de un poeta gritar
“Caminante no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar…”

Golpe a golpe, verso a verso…

Murió el poeta lejos del hogar.
Le cubre el polvo de un país vecino.
Al alejarse le vieron llorar.
“Caminante no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar…”

Golpe a golpe, verso a verso…

Cuando el jilguero no puede cantar.
Cuando el poeta es un peregrino,
cuando de nada nos sirve rezar.
“Caminante no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar…”

Golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

Please check out this link to hear the poem, sung by Raúl “pipo” Zerquera

May the words and melody guide you.

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