Friday, December 21, 2007

Reflection - Storytime

Do you remember this? Safely tucked against someone warm, someone special, someone taking a long lingering evening to read you a story? Or holding still and breathless as you read a story to her for the first time?! How much this reminds me of everything good and pure in art, whatever its form. We are the tellers of the tales, via fabric, paint, beads, clay. Somewhere, someone sees our work and mentally climbs into our laps to hear more, to hear the rest, or to tell us the story she is experiencing because of her encounter with our art. Our humble little art!Mom and Ciera carefully sounded out and counted the letters in all of our names: D-a-d-d-y, T-o-n-i, C-i-e-r-a, B-o-b-b-y, U-n-c-l-e C-a-m, G-r-a-n-d-m-a. Every letter mattered; each was spoken with a whisper of emphasis and a matching reverent finger. We guess and second guess the most simple of elements in our art -- this word or that, which stitch, is this the best color? When our heart knows, usually right from the beginning.We erase & gesso-over & re-stitch, but why? Overrun with fear of result, forgetting the tale being told, not allowing ourselves to pause and enter our own story. To receive the story we are interpreting, and then giving forth. A-r-t. C-r-e-a-t-e. Instead worry, fretting, stress, tension, attempts at perfection. Oh but it's the story itself, the receiving of it, the making of it, like life, that transmits and communicates the art (& the heart), isn't it? Just like Mom, worrying that she would be too ugly in these photos for me to post them -- but have you ever seen anyone more beautiful? My mom, Ciera's Grandma, holding her granddaughter close and counting name letters, their hands and hearts meeting, touching, moving, moments not to be missed or done over, PERFECT IN THEIR MAKING. Every moment we give to our chosen art is equally valid, equally lovely, equally priceless. We must learn to see, to feel, to hold onto the depth of it and forget any labels, especially those like 'ugly'. Don't you make art out of sheer love? For the making, the idea, the challenge, the process, the play, the stillness, the excitement? Like a story, like storytelling, like nestling in the lap of our own beloved imagination and there is no judgment there, no fault-finding, just acceptance, curiosity, and letters to count with endless f-a-s-c-i-n-a-t-i-o-n.