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Touchstone Center for Children 

April Newsletter


Despite the fierce, wind-swept snow, sleet and rain of March, the first days of spring have quietly begun beneath the ground. Small nubs of flowering are everywhere – and in and around trees and bushes, you can hear the first delights of running and playing children coming to life again. It is these children who so often become our guides to another realm of childhood learning – a learning based on the ever-expanding vocabulary of a child’s sensory world.

Quite recently, I saw a small child, perhaps two or three years old, putting her hand up, as if to grasp something invisible in front of her – and her mother quietly bending down to her saying, “Can you the feel the wind in your hand?” And within this momentary question was her daughter’s wordless answer, as both of her hands began swaying back and forth, collecting multiple sensations of the restless air and leaving in its wake, what wasn’t there before.

"It felt like soft inside the wind
and lots and lots of wind.
The wind is white. The wind
goes fast and slow. The wind
makes air. I see new things."

- Yangzoom, Age 8

It is easy to forget what those first sensations might have meant to us, what, in their awakenings of felt-thought, may have taught us, enlarged for us another realm of understanding just beginning to clarify itself. I suspect that such learnings are at the very root of our world making – and as others have suggested, the source of our desire towards creating and imagining.

"The feeling for form came into human consciousness through the fingers, and what the fingers had feelingly shaped, the eye perceived and approved."

- Herbert Read

In so many ways, our playing, both in solitude and with others, was our means to bring together the very newness of our human experience – beginning always with the discovery of the marvel that is our individual and unique feeling universe.

"When I touch the flower,
I feel the blossom shaping."

- Philip, Age 9

My best,


Richard Lewis
Touchstone Center for Children

Photograph, and children's art and writings, from The Touchstone Center Archives. Quote from "Icon and Idea: The Function of Art in the Development of Human Consciousness" by Herbert Read, Schocken Books, 1965.
Copyright © 2018 The Touchstone Center for Children, All rights reserved.

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