Wednesday, February 2, 2011

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

This song came to mind as I sat in a session this afternoon, Moody's Founder's Week raging on through the blizzard that has hit Chicago.

The session I attended was about creativity and faith, the nature of art and us. The speaker wasn't very good at public speaking, he didn't saying anything particularly dynamic, he didn't have funny one-liners or statements that were overly alarming, his ideas were simple. His message clear. He borrowed from Francis Schaeffer (Art and the Bible), which means his message was also an excellent one. Though his speaking itself was only average, his message was powerful and good. I could tell he is truly shaped himself to his core as an artist, it spilled over into every quiet, bumbling word he spoke. Some of his key ideas were:

Beauty is objective. God is the standard of beauty.

Art mustn't always "make sense" or "have meaning"

Three-fourths through his discussion, I started scribbling away - a creative description of how I have forsaken my guitar, my creative fingers have barely touched my guitar and my right-sided brain has been still and grown stagnant since college. Well, this is not wholly true. My writing has improved. My speaking has improved. And these will help me in the world, I suppose. That seems an awful thought to me. I've spent such time improving areas in my life that will lead to success, when my measure of success will never be that which the world cares for. When I question my heart, what does it say?

It says: sing, dance, draw, write, warm again the neck of my lovely guitar with my palm as it runs over its smoothness, collect the dust of the piano onto my fingers as I play it away, bringing life into my soul and joy to my King. Write songs, write poems, write anything, oh as long as the word "essay" is not attached. The confines of school have kept my from these pleasures for too long. I have sorely neglected myself. I am ashamed to say the creativity that God has given me, given us all, has been misused and depleted. I have not done it justice. I am no great talent at any of these that I have mentioned, but my satisfaction in the art of creating fills me to overflowing.

One more thought must I mention. My paper set upon my lap as I wrote and the speaker asked, "any questions?" An older man, my father's age perhaps, asked (or should I say ignorantly stated) "what about this art in contemporary museums, I can do that stuff...maybe even better."

My pen broke through my paper and stained my lap, in anger and frustration I tried not to glare at the man. Inside I cried "you can create the lines of Mondrian and the textures of Pollack; the colors of Stella and the imagery of Warhol?"

I did not exclaim these thoughts to the room. Because I know he is speaking to a different cause, a different issue. And I know he could not recreate what contemporary and modern artists have made. I digress.

I do not argue here of modern art and what art is, only that to think we can create what these artists have - such beauty and creativity, their creativity expressing who they are. They are true to themselves. And that is beauty. To deny themselves would be denying life, denying what they were made to be. If you can do nothing else, than you must be an artist. We cannot help be creators of something, for this is who we are made to be.

God is glorified in us being who we are, not being the best (not that we cannot be), not being success (not that we cannot succeed), not being or defining ourselves by anything (define yourself in the Creator). He looks at our doodles and masterpieces with the heart of a Father, and my art is hanging by a big magnet on an even bigger fridge.


Donna Boucher said...

Oh, how I love that last sentence :o)

It's art.

nanc said...

Nice thoughts about Creativity. I love that our Creative God gave us the gift of Creativity. I love being able to share his love through my art.
Nancy N

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