An Impeccable Investment

Thursday 6th of October, 2016

The children finally have beds. I’ve bought a kitchen table and ordered a mustard coloured sofa, which is supposed to arrive soon from a hipster furniture store on Overtoom, Oud-West. 

Gabriel refused school today. So, I had to leave with him. He simply would not go into the building. It was very confronting. His teacher makes him feel naughty because she is not adequately supporting him. He’s clowning a bit to cope with his discomfort. This has never happened to Gabriel, being made to feel this way. He’s clearly not naughty. It’s abhorrent that she should make him feel that way. I think there must be a problem with the culture of the school, the teachers are obviously not being supported by upper management. Also, the school is poorly organised. I will have confidence in the school when I get some compassion and understanding for my children.

Gabriel is obviously impacted by my lack of confidence. I am constantly trying to address their concerns and advocate for them at school, so as to solve this problem. I wish the children could just have a nice teacher who cares. I would not stand for this back home, so why am I standing for it here? It’s much harder to navigate the system in a foreign country. The best thing I can do right now is try to get good sleep and fill my cup, so as to be able to regulate my own emotions and support the children when they’re not at school, as well as keep advocating for them through meetings with the teacher and the director.

I watched an interesting documentary about Iggy Pop directed by Jim Jarmusch. Iggy said something of great significance. He was talking about his upbringing and the fact that he was brought up in a trailer park by two highly attentive and involved Swedish parents. He said that they chose to make a great investment in him and that it was an extraordinary decision to have made, which made all the difference in his life.

I also re-watched the wonderful Jean Michel Basquiat documentary, The Radiant Child. He was exceptional. A genius. It inspires me to be relentless. It encourages me to keep writing, making art. I’ve made a series of robots with some of the heads drawn by Gabriel. I would like to visit the Cobra museum soon. I’m taken with the work of Karel Appel. It seems to me that Basquiat took inspiration from the Cobra school. Basquiat captured the child’s perspective, or an instinctive primal drive, which is active in the human agent, though which is often thwarted, pared back, made redundant. My children’s artwork inspires me enormously and we’ve started to collaborate.