I’m spending a weekend away with my hubby for some rest and reconnection. Today, while the thing he needed most was a good nap, I couldn’t seem to shut my brain off. We’re staying in a city, which is particularly unusual for us…usually we are the “quiet getaway” in the country somewhere kind of people…but for multiple reasons, including a friend’s art gallery show and the recommendations of my sister and brother-in-law, we opted for stint where the action is.
It was “First Friday” last night, so the city was bustling with artistry, street performers and good food. It’s a vibe that is different for me, but I loved it. It was fun to take the city trail a couple of blocks to find an adorable cafe for breakfast, and the hotel we are staying in is particularly unique. It’s called Lancaster Arts Hotel, and as the name would suggestion, it is very much focused on art and inspiration. There is provided in the room a sketch pad, and a note encouraging guests to doodle and sketch, and then leave your sketch behind to be displayed in the elevator as well as to continue filling the scrapbooks of guest-drawings that available for browsing in the lobby.
At first I smiled and thought “that’s a nice idea….for an artist” but counted myself out. Then, as I mentioned earlier, as I lay next to my snoring husband, while the wheels turned and churned in my brain, I decided to pick up that pencil and pad and see what came out.
While there was certainly no great artistry, what began as brainstorming ideas for church led to me thinking more introspectively. So I moved on from my own “idea sketching” to attempt to draw the gorgeous exposed brick wall in our room.
As I drew, I initially was feeling positive that I might have *somewhat* of a shot of capturing the unique beauty of the wall. The optimism quickly turned, and I felt slightly agitated that the creation was taking SO long. It certainly gave me a good perspective of how long and painstaking it is to create good art. (Serious props and kudos to all you artsy people!!!) Secondly, I also came to some other realizations, both general and personal, of which I found to be good reminders that I am in need of. Here are some of them…
- Creating takes time. Slow down!
- Look at the “thing”. Don’t just go on what I THINK it is, what I THINK I know, or what I THINK I remember…look at that “thing” (whatever the thing may be…an object, a situation, or a person) and take in it’s REALITY.
- Reality (or Truth) does not change – but perspective does. Sometimes perspective makes reality easier to see and accept…but sometimes it makes it more confusing and disorienting. Perspective is huge.
- I notice and greatly APPRECIATE detail. I love it. I love to look at it, take it in, and reflect on detail. I also greatly DISLIKE having to deal with or attend to details. It feels maddening for me to have to be IN the details, even though I see the enormous value of detail and the absolute necessity for it. I am too often willing to skip over details in order to pursue the big picture…but without the details, the big picture is very lacking.
- Lastly…being indoors on a day that the weather is absolute perfection feels difficult to me. It makes me feel hasty and to use my husbands favorite Pennsylvania Dutch term for me… “schusslich” (meaning “clumsy with things usually because of hurrying”). However, love is about putting the needs of others ahead of one’s own, and my love was in SERIOUS need of a nap. Turns out, it was certainly no waste of time for me either.
Taking time to pursue artistic endeavors, even for those of us lacking in talent, can be both stretching and revealing, if we allow ourselves to go beyond the surface. It’s not often that I do, I guess, but I think I need to more. Not because I think I have hidden, locked up art in me that the world needs to see…but because to really explore, learn and understand things, we need to be willing to do things that take us below the surface on which we most naturally and normally operate.
So what stretches you out of your comfort zone? Creating art (like me)? Maybe attempting to write a song? What about reading a different genre of literature that makes you think in a new way? How about dinner with someone who works a job you know nothing about…but you think might be interesting to hear about?
Whatever it is…just try it. It might be nice to think about something new for a change! It’s refreshing to be purposeful about finding a new perspective from time to time.