“Listen to your inner child.”
This incredible sculpture was one of the highlights of this year’s Burning Man. (No, I did not attend.)
I see two adults unable to communicate because of their sadness or anger. They can’t even look at each other. But inside both adults there is a child without all that sadness or anger, with no baggage or barriers. The children stand face to face and reach out to each other lovingly.
I feel inspired by this sculpture for a couple of reasons.
Too often I think we demonize our inner child. We think of inner child as selfish or immature. We want to be grown up. This is a reminder that there is a lot to learn from our inner child. The innocence, the acceptance, the willingness to talk and engage with others. Like everything in life, there is a balance between the purity of the inner child and the foolishness of the inner child. This restores a little balance for me.
More obviously, I am inspired to break through the barriers to communication that we all experience. When we face opposing directions and don’t even try to talk to each other, we have no chance of effective communication. But even when we do sit apart, we can find the innocence of our inner child and start the conversation. Hopefully it can blossom and turn us around.
The two adults can be two actual adults. They can also be two opposing forces inside a person. They can even be a person and God or spirituality. In all situations, we can allow our inner child to break through the walls we build around ourselves. This is the essence of Teshuva.
Finally, I think is a beautiful depiction of the Midrashic interpretation of the cherubs situated above the ark in the Mishkan. I’ll leave that one for you to contemplate.
(‘Love’ by Alexandr Lilov from Ukraine)