December 19, 2011
I don’t know where I picked it up, but I’ve never let it go. Every person is a created being and as a creature of Creation, we are naturally creative. Yet somewhere along the way to adulthood, many of us lose our belief that I am creative. Instead, we relegate our art off to the “artist.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard teachers say everyone in kindergarten sings as if they are a singer and then, by the time these same children graduate high school, most every one of them do not believe themselves singers. Parents know the same truth. What parent has not experienced their child radically focused and engaged with paper and crayons creating a drawing. It is as if they reside in sacred space and nothing in the world matters other than expressing a deep gift welling up from a profound Godding space within. When they are done with their creation they run and hold up a piece of paper, smile, and say something like “Look! Look at what I made!” Yet many parents, knowing the reality of their creative child was once their own do not believe themselves a creative adult.
We need to encourage, reclaim, support, and advance creativity. We and our community are the better for a bit more singing, painting, guitar picking, dancing across the kitchen floor, clever humor, glass-blowing, and sculpture! My Future, an after-school program of the Yakama Christian Mission, believes art matters. As school ends each day, My Future begins. As students enter the Art (and Band) room art begins to bubble up and alongside, life. Soon, distinguishing between art and life becomes difficult as emotions, events, and spirit meld with paint, wood, and fire. And always…always…as life leaves the confines of body and moves artfully into the world, mystery fills the room. The experience for the observer is like, well, you remember the very first time you saw a rabbit pulled from a top hat or when you first seriously engaged with the idea of a virgin birth?, it’s like that—a feeling lying somewhere between wonderment and bewilderment.
We are creative artful people and each of us need, not want, but need to experience our creative center! Ten percent of your Christmas Offering supports the creative wellbeing of youth each afternoon at the Yakama Christian Mission.
(First e-published by the Northwest Regional Christian Church (Disciples of Christ))
© David B. Bell 2011