mountain & crevasse collage
This was the first collage I was able to complete. It was only after using a combination of energy work and lots of practice in 'mindless' collaging that I was able to erase the discourses in my body which had suggested to me that art was not legitimate academic work. Only after those discourses were cleared could I let go of my cognitive, rational mind and let my re-animated, embodied perception (see Bai, 2003, 2009) lead the way through the collage.
The acts of alternately painting, writing, listening, and shifting discourses energetically, helped me dig away at the question that had been haunting my earlier study (see study context): how is it that teachers (or myself as a researcher) can believe in a particular approach to teaching or research, have the skills, knowledge, examples, a perfect setting and the desire to implement those approaches, yet still not be able to do it? I looked inward for answers: why was it that I could not complete a collage or write in poetry and call it research, particularly when I had the skills, support, desire, and plenty of published examples? (see Barrett 2007 for an extended description of these dilemmas).
The gap between desire and action did not make sense – until I began identifying and energetically clearing old discourses, then reinscribing new ones that supported painting and writing in dialogue with animate Earth.