After a visit from Constanza Kaliks to the Agentinian school Perito Moreno, we felt the need to participate somehow in the research project of the Youth Section at the Goetheanum, which works with the question: “what would the world look like in 2030 if what lives within you became a reality, and what will you do to make it happen?” We took a week in September to share an individual and collective process in the high school.
Monday / Image day
We began by reading a Zapatist tale “The Story of Questions” from the narrations of old Antonio. Then for the next day, the students had to think and bring those questions that put us in movement, on our way somewhere.
Old Antonio begins his story, which unites and mixes old and new times just as the smoke of my pipe and his cigarette do:
“Many stories ago, when the first gods, those who made the world, were still wondering at night, two gods spoke: Ik’al and Votán. Two that were only one. When one turned, the other showed itself. They were counterparts of each other. One was like a May’s morning light shining in the river. The other was dark, like a cold night in a cave. They were the same. These two gods never moved.
“What should we do?”, asked both. “Life is sad like this”, both said saddened. “The night never passes”, said Ik’al. “The day never passes” said Votán. “Let’s walk”, said the one that was two. “How?”, asked the other. “Where to?”, asked one. And they saw that in this way they moved a little, first to ask how, and then to ask where. One became happy when he saw that they moved a little bit. The two of them wanted to move at the same time but they couldn’t. “How should we do it then?”. And one peeped first and then the other moved another little bit, and in this way they realized that if one moved first and then the other, then it was possible for both to move. They agreed to move one first and then the other. They began to move and nobody remembers who moved first. They were very happy because they were moving and “who cares who goes first if we are moving”, the gods said while laughing.
The first agreement they made was to dance. And they danced, a little step one, a little step the other, and they stayed long in the dance because they were happy to have found each other.
Then they got tired of so much dancing and they saw what else they could do and noticed that the first question “how to move”, brought the answer “together, but separately in agreement”. They didn’t care too much for that question, because before they realized it, they were already moving.
Then, when they saw that there were two paths in front of them, came another question: one was very short, not reaching too far. But walking was so enjoyable that both said quickly that this path was too short. So they decided to take the long path. And they were going to start walking when the answer to take the long path brought another question “where is this path leading to?”; they took their time thinking the answer and suddenly the same answer came to their head: that only by walking it they would know where it went to. Still as they were they would never know where the long path led to. So then they said: “let’s walk it, then” and they began to walk, first one and then the other.
In that moment they noticed that it took a long time to walk the long path and so another question came “how are we going to do to walk for a long time?” and they stayed still thinking for a good long while. Then light Ik’al said that he didn’t know how to walk during the day, and Votán said that at night he was afraid. Then they agreed: Ik’al could walk at night and Voltán during the day. This is how they arrived at the answer of how to walk all the time.
Since then, the gods walk with questions and they never stop, they never arrive and they never leave. This is how true men and women learnt that questions are made for walking, not to stay still. And, since then, those who are true men and women ask in order to walk, say farewell when they arrive and greet each other when they leave. They never stay still.”
Tuesday / Action day
We meditated about our questions for the present and future whilst creating our own mandalas.
Wednesday / Social day
Individually, students shared their questions with their peers and selected those that they felt represented the whole group.
What is justice? What will happen to nature? Are we searching a future for all? How do we shape our identity? Is humanity moving forward or backwards? Can we change the world? How much do I know myself? Our challenge: to be with others.
Thursday / Reflection, collective and community work day
In a general assembly from classes 9 to 12, students shared all their selected questions on a chalk board, arranging them in groups according to themes. We chose those questions that best represented everyone in the assembly and during student-spring day, they painted with the questions the stairs leading to their classrooms. The questions raised their core concerns for the world and the complexity of the present times.
The day reached Class 7 and 8 in a different way; it included proposals on how to maintain the space, bread baking, cooking and embellishment of the school.