Reaching for Art

15 Feb

My wife, friends and even some of my youth group kids have been urging me to start a blog for a while now.  When I first began to seriously contemplate the idea I wondered what the hell am I going to do with it.  Some people I’ve told about it want to know what I’m gonna write about?  Well, damned if know but I thought at least I have stories…lots of them!  After all my siblings and I grew up in my Grandparent’s house with the rest of the cousins (26 of us all together) coming and going in a big ole Irish family.  I attended 3 different grade schools, 3 high schools and 2 colleges with 5 of those years in Catholic boarding school with the Nuns!  So yeah, I got stories.  And pictures…lot’s of those too.

I’ve taught a few writing and poetry workshops and talked to people about art and being an artist who were convinced they didn’t have an artist bone in their bodies.  I’ve always reacted in astonishment because rhythm is the first place to start.  If we can breath and feel a heartbeat we all have what it takes to be an artist.  With desire, some direction, triggers if you will and a bit of clarity everything we do can be art.  The fact that we are all living out our lives is an art.  I can’t knit, round up cattle or sheep, write code for a computer or produce a sound business plan but honestly folks it’s all art to one degree or another.

A few years ago another youth advisor, my wife and myself took a group of teenagers to camp on the coast of Maine.  Now some adults thought we were brave or saints or just plain crazy but man what an amazing experience that was.  I had 3 of the kids and a ton of stuff jammed into my car.  We talked about a bunch of things there and back…it’s a 4 hour ride one way.  But what we mostly talked about was Art and it’s place in our individual lives and in the world.  I made them listen to some classical as well as classic rock and I listened to theirs, rap and all!  All as loud as the car stereo could make it!  One of the best songs I’ve ever heard regarding art and what it means is called appropriately enough, Art by Tanya Davis.  We listened to it at least 20 times during that week.  It’s on YouTube with an incredible video.  We also spoke about chronological age as opposed to what age we feel inside.  I’m actually 11 although my birthday says differently.  And anyone who really knows me knows that’s the truth, even my youth group kids!

So I guess what I’m trying to say is even though I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do here, I do know that I want it to be more than just stories and pictures.  I want to inspire folks to reach for their inner child and their inner artist!

Reaching for Thunder

I am the urge to run barefoot over grass
I am the laughter bubbling up from inside
I am the treasures in thrown away trash
I am the one with eyes opened wide

I am the gleam in an old woman’s gaze
I am the mischief in a toddler’s eye
I am the vision to seek out new ways
I am the questions that begin with why

I am the impulse to reach for thunder
I am the excitement at the fireflies light
I am your sense of awe and wonder
I am your joy and delight

I am the climb to the very top branch
I am the one who hears magic begin
I am the cowboy on the make believe ranch
I am your child within

Weez July 2006

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