During Lent here at Suburban Presbyterian Church, we are exploring the creative and liturgical arts, with classes and speakers dealing with storytelling, iconography, dance, visual art, writing, and so on. The theme is "A Beautiful Thing," inspired by the story of the woman anointing Jesus and his declaration that "She has done a beautiful thing for me." (Mark 14, NIV)
We are working on the notion that everything we do can be considered a beautiful thing--a creative offering to God--whether it's gardening or scrapbooking or accounting or sorting clothes at the clothes closet or child-rearing. And so:
1. Would you call yourself "creative"? Why or why not?
In a way, I suppose. I have never demonstrated much talent for the visual arts--over the years I've tried drawing, painting, weaving, and batik, and although I enjoy them (especially the fiber arts), it just ain't there. But I love to cook and bake, and am very good at adding and subtracting from recipes just to see what happens. More often than not, something delicious happens. I love to putter around in the kitchen. I also like to write, but I have to write so much in my work that I don't take the time or the discipline to write for my own pleasure regularly, as you may have noticed.
My mother was a gifted gardener; when I was a child, people would come to the door and ask for permission to go into our back yard to admire her handiwork. When we first moved into this house, less than a year after her death, I planted all sorts of things and tended them lovingly, but gardening is one of the things that work has crowded out over the years. I remember planting the pyracantha that is now espaliered along the side of our garage, with my father standing nearby, watching me with a wistful smile.
2. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you currently do that you'd like to develop further.
I love to sing, and have never taken voice lessons. I keep telling myself I'm going to do that, or--a long-term dream--that I'm going to buy a secondhand piano and start playing again. I love dancing, and stuff like jazzercise, and would like to take a jazz dance class. I actually have already started looking into that.
3. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you have never done but would like to try.
If there were an infinite number of days in the week and weeks in the year, I think I would enjoy getting into community theater. I haven't been on stage since college, and I think I would enjoy acting in a non-competitive, fun context.
4. Complete this sentence: "I am in awe of people who can _____________."
I am in awe of people who can sew well and who find joy and satisfaction in doing it. (That would be you, Mindy.) My sewing career ended before it began. I made a dress in eighth grade Home Ec, and when we held our fashion show for the student body, my hem fell out while I was proudly walking across the stage...in front of several hundred junior high kids...imagine the rest...Maybe that's why I went into psychology.
5. Share about a person who has encouraged your creativity, who has "called you to your best self." (I'm pretty sure that's from the Gospel of Oprah.
For the past twenty-five years, the Scientist has encouraged me in everything I've attempted, has listened to all of my ideas, has never said "that's dumb," has never laughed at me. Everyone should be so blessed.
P.S. Go me, it's my birthday! Great Italian food and a trip to the MFAH are on the horizon!