Tuesday, April 10, 2018

After the Retreat, the Memories

I've really been enjoying the pictures of our retreat that others have been posting on Facebook.  As I watch, I'm realizing how many of the activities I didn't do.

When my spouse asked me my favorite activity, I said, "Honestly, I most loved walking around taking pictures of other people making art."  I felt a stab of weirdness about that, as if I've been on social media too long, and I don't remember how to relate face to face.  Is taking pictures about art the same thing as making art? 

Perhaps.  Some of the pictures I took solely for documentary purposes.  But some I took for artistic effect.  I love taking pictures of people's hands as they make art, for example.

I also didn't do much making of art, at least not the kind that the workshops and drop in stations were set up to promote, because I don't need more stuff around the house.  While I thought it was wonderful to see the birdfeeders that people created out of cans and bottles, I didn't want one.  Likewise the fairy doors:  if I lived by myself, perhaps, but in my current life, they don't fit.

I also didn't particularly want to try any of the activities that were new to me.  Some years I'm excited to try something like pottery or weaving.  But this year, I kept thinking that I already have more interests than I have time for--why pick up another?

Some might say, "Why go, then?"  There are so many reasons:

--I was inspired by seeing all the art being made.  I continue to be inspired by it.

--I often use the ideas of Create in Me retreats later in church or other retreats.  That's another reason I take lots of pictures.

--I've had the music of the retreat in my head.  Our Bible study leader taught us a song, a simple melody, at the beginning of each study session.  When he'd give us time to think on our own or discuss in groups, he called us back to the bigger group by singing that song.  Very cool.

--I was struck by how my Create in Me friends are keeping up with me.  Some of my friends from other settings don't seem to remember such huge events in my life, like the hurricane damage from the fall or my arthritis diagnosis.  Many of my Create in Me friends asked specific questions which made me realize that they're paying attention.  I spend much of my life wondering if people would notice if I vanished.  The Create in Me retreat makes me feel that yes, some people would notice.

--But mostly, I go away because it's good to go away.  It's good to be reminded that there's a much larger world out there.  It's good to be reminded that art is important.  It's good to be reminded that God envisions so much more for each and every one of us.

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