It has been a long gloomy season around here, gray skies, with continual snow or rain. Yesterday was sunny and I paused. Just warm enough to get out with only a fleece and vest, camera in hand.
I prayed a circle around our yard and captured natures red, skies blue, listened to the tall pines clap together as they swayed in the wind. I looked for the blue jay that has been hiding in the large lilac but all I saw were a few nests.
I needed yesterday to recharge and remind me of life beyond walls.
A few years ago, my children’s school cut the art program. Technically they moved the teacher into a classroom and never hired someone new for the position. While I grieve that decision for our community, I am pushed towards action for my children. Two weekends ago we drove the hour between our home and Grand Rapids to take our children on our annual pilgrimage to see Art Prize. On the way down we listened to a magic tree house episode Vikings at Sunrise, the story transports the two kids back to the dark ages and time of the vikings. Jack the young boy defines “civilization” as, ” when people have books and art and good manners.”
Here is some of what we experienced in our three-hour visit… children busking. Multiple street musicians. Performance artists. Jugglers. Hundreds of pieces of art. Sculptures made from recycled materials. Sculptures made from nature. Works in progress. “Mom, why are those people talking with their hands?” Compassion. Knitted objects. Murals the size of buildings. Scale. ”Why are there so many dark-skinned people here.” Diversity. Art in the streets, taking over squares. Art in museums, galleries, parking lots and alleys. People. Crowded sidewalks and bridges. People interacting with art. My children interacting with art. Life engaged.
At the end of the day, it is not the government’s job to provide opportunities and the schools job solely to be teachers, It is ours, the parents, the people, the church, the community. We make the opportunities, we write the books, we teach the lessons, we display the manners. We don’t need more titles to give, help or teach, we need to make the drive a priority. I am learning to be an intentional parent, about exposure, creating opportunities, teaching and correcting. In essence I am learning the art of engagement.
The Makers Market went great, I am completely cleaned out of mugs… now I am in the swing of fall. After a brief stop at the farmers market this morning, my kiddos picked out a handful of petite gourds. A drawing lesson was in order next, contour lines, and free “organic” shapes. I just love their little drawings. The other day they picked up some maple leaves and started rolling their own flowers, from this little DIY I wrote a few years ago. I am still amazed at the thousands of hits the post generates and hundreds of facebook likes and shares. Wow. It goes to show you the impact of technology no matter where you live. Now, let’s get off our computers and make something!
I am getting ready for my second fall at the Traverse City Maker’s Market THIS SATURDAY. I haven’t done a lot of shows but Kelly is one of the most excited and organized directors I have ever worked with, It is such a great venue! We Michiganders are just slightly obsessed with our mitten…. This year I made a little woodgrain Michigan serving tray and lots of ceramic Coat buttons (plus a few surprises, stop by and check out my booth! ) I have a button on my coat and always get a ton of compliments on it, so I am hoping these guys sell like crazy. These all start out as my original printblocks of gems, birds, butterflies, flowers, feathers… and then get pressed into the clay. I love them!
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:21-23
Back from vacation. Beautiful Rocky Mountains… sometimes you just need to get away to put it all in perspective. Landscape is so much more than the view.
We celebrated eleven on the tenth.
Eleven years I have been married! I am thankful for each one. Eight of those years have been in Michigan now. Other than family the lake michigan shore line is one our favorite things and the only place you can find Petoskey stones. This year I picked out this little set of Petoskey stones and aquamarine to remember this beautiful season.
A trip to the gardens yesterday and I was drawn to these cultivated in a lonely spot. Some things look better from afar. Getting close is just far too painful.