"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark. 
In effect, the people who change our lives the most begin to 
sing to us while we are still in darkness. If we listen to 
their song, we will see the dawning of a new part of ourselves."

Rabindranth Tagore

Existential Intelligence is the sensitivity and capacity to engage questions about human existence – how we got here, whether we have a purpose, and whether there is meaning in Life. Existential intelligence embraces the exploration of aesthetics, philosophy, religion and values like beauty, truth, and goodness. A strong existential intelligence allows human beings to see their place in the big picture, be it in the classroom, community, world, or universe.

First proposed by Howard Gardner, existential intelligence is one of nine theorized intelligences and is considered to be amoral – that is, it and the other eight categories of human intelligence can be used either constructively or destructively.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guerrilla Art Gardening

Last Saturday my guerilla art action was directed toward our community garden. The garden is a public space where anyone can plant a few flowers or vegetables. At dusk I took dozens of pretend bugs, butterflies and birds into the garden, and carefully wired them to the fences, tomato cages and blossoming stalks. The silk interlopers immediately attracted the real thing - a graceful Swallowtail butterfly looking for playmates.

This morning I visited the garden again. A single yellow bird is the only remaining evidence of my garden party. Did children carry away the brightly colored collection? Did a local gardener find the phonies unsuitable and remove them? Did a magic wand transform the lot Pinocchio-style, breathing temporary life into their plastic bodies?

It's challenging to give up the need to know. So I remind myself that this is an exploration of process, not outcome.

Learning to be open to process and detached from outcome isn't a lesson you learn once and then you've got it. It's a lesson you have to learn every day. Being in the garden this morning was good practice. I'm not great at letting go, but I'm getting better.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant! I prefer to imagine that your kind act enabled the Pinocchio principle to engage in a bit of kindness of its own and they're all real bugs now...off enjoying life.