My life’s partner and I have a passion for handmade art–and for musicians, for painters, for photographers, and for people who shape their energy and the earth’s into pottery or glass, blankets or baskets, jewelry or carvings, or ornaments of beauty. The central joys of life, for me, have always been to listen for the generative song of creativity and to seek the company of those who hear, welcome, dance, and improvise to its music. And to midwife the arts of our own and others’ spirits.
How else do we love and heal and become, fully, ourselves?
I was three years removed from city life when we moved once more to Full Moon Cottage. Still weaning from close proximity to theaters, orchestras and art museums, I wondered if moving again, to even more remote country acres, was overdoing it. Happily, I soon learned that wherever there are people, there is art.
We can drive to Madison in 30 minutes, to Milwaukee in under an hour, or to downtown Chicago in about 2.5 hours. So when the Big Art Jones needs a fix, it can be readily satisfied. And then we can return home to sleep beneath a sky scattered with stars and the music of owls, crickets, and the entire Full Moon Orchestra.
Works for us.
But a lovelier benefit of living here is that many of our neighbors are working artists who live in this area because this is where they can afford a home and the space that feeds their spirits and art, and yet be near metropolitan centers where their creativity can be shared with wider audiences.
The town we now call home is built around a beautiful, clean lake. There’s a square at the center of the “business district” that forms a park where the local farmers’ market and festivals are held. In winter, an ice rink is formed at the park and “skating music” is played through speakers, something I look forward to every year. It’s wonderful, especially during a snowfall, to hear the music and children’s voices as I walk between the library and grocery store, or meet a friend for lunch.
Art and community are what I need when my hope for humanity ebbs, as it does when one among us turns to violence and communicates his fear, anger, and alienation with a gun rather than a paintbrush, poem, or guitar. And so, yesterday, we attended the annual Art Fair on the town’s square. A good friend joined us, and we shared a peaceful day meeting artists, enjoying their creativity, listening to an all-women band playing classic “big band” music, watching children’s delight with face-painting, and catching up on our own stories. “It’s all about relationship,” a professor once told me. Yes, it is.
I strolled and sat and people-watched and thought how good it is when we gather to share our inherent creativity: not to judge, but just to celebrate that–given the choice between hate-fueled destruction or love-infused creativity—most people, over and over, choose to make art and make merry.
And so we love, and heal, and delight each other back to continued creativity and hope.
Our favorite house-sitter will be with the 4-leggeds this week so we can go up to Lake Superior, the Big Pond at the north end of our state. Peace to your week, and joy in your creativity!
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