I probably couldn’t find better visualization of a “learning community.” Sitting in a garden full of art, the exterior exhibit of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, I’m sure Professor Horton is talking with my Art & Lit in Italia peers about the Yoko Ono Wishing Tree just to the left—i.e. life, enriched. Unenhanced (with the exception that I saturated the colors in the photograph, which also speaks to the wonderment of LU: that a formerly inartistic literature student can by a Global Learning experience be transformed by the renewing of her mind), this is Lipscomb: professors, students and staff communing everywhere under the sun, Tennessee or Tuscan.
“What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun,” -Song of Solomon 1:9
said wise King Solomon, and I believe him painfully. Students will be transformed by Art & Lit in Italia next summer, 2013, and I won’t go. I’ll have had my experience and graduated. Who I have been here at Lipscomb will be again and even better in a newer student; what my professors have taught me will be taught again and to students more interesting. There is nothing new under the sun, not even the moment depicted in this photograph.
So painfully true is it also that “[t]he eye never has enough of seeing”—of seeing contemporary art at the Venice Biennale—“nor the ear its fill of hearing”—of hearing my peers and Professor Horton talk about what’s meaningful (1:8).
What’s meaningful is this Lipscomb learning community, in Nashville, in Italia and in where on earth-and heaven-in-renewal we’re being prepared to go next.