Creative understanding – a visual metaphor

I was looking for a photo of Alberto Giacometti and found one on this website, taken by Henri Cartier Bresson.

It shows him working with clay to make a sculpture. When I was writing about reconciliation conversations and how the two people involved made gestures of empathy in their talk, this became a metaphor of the process for me. As I listened on my headphones to the recordings, and then as I worked with the transcriptions, I felt that I was hearing the two building their stories, with words instead of pieces of clay. Each time they met,they would revisit some of the same topics, pressing more pieces on to the sculptures. Over time, the pieces made a recognisable shape, became their narratives of conflict, grief, empathy.

Another person can never really understand our experience as we did. The best we can do is to shape a sculpted version of a life and place it between us.

One Response to “Creative understanding – a visual metaphor”
  1. What an apt metaphor!

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