by a Grade 9 male student
It is a very bad thing to have emotions and not express them. I know as a male, I grew up with the idea that men do not express many emotions at all. One line that came my was various versions of "Stop that crying and be a man already!" It did not matter where of what the source of the emotion was, it was apparently important for me as a male to not show emotion.
The result was I became a gatekeeper to my emotions. Do not show any emotion if at all possible was the goal. This if course had increasable implications and I don't want to go into it here but let's just say there are several generations of men who grew up with this mantra. Generations of men trying to deal with life void of emotional expression. What then do you do with the death of a friend, a father, a mother and so on? Can the male then, who has looked up his emotions for his whole life actually express them? Is he aware of how to do that? If you have never spoken your emotions anywhere, what language and words will you use at this funeral of your father for example?
I am learning that art is the world of an adult (male) becoming a child again to begin opening the gate of resident emotions that have been waiting to be released for many years.
I went to art class to teach on the subject of "expressing emotions through art." What a moving experience to see young students, "children" just letting go, releasing their feeing's through the brushstrokes of art.
Not only that but as they painted, they began telling their stories of life experiences. It became an experience much bigger than art and techniques of expression. It became a time of listening, validating, encouraging both males and females to upen the gates to the emotions that had been hidden, boiling and raging there for so long.
I cannot believe how rich this is. Help me God to "be present" for these kids as they grow and expand by just putting a line of self expression on a piece of paper!