Last night I took Gabby to an awards ceremony where she won a red ribbon for her gorgeous painted tissue paper collage of a blue jay. I am thrilled. Not just that she was awarded, but that young artist like her have this opportunity to showcase their art and be recognized for their gifts.
Next week Hanna will have the opportunity to showcase her photography too. I am so glad. These budding artists of mine need these opportunities in their life. They need to get the message that art is important, that their creativity has significance. They need to know it matters.
I need to know too.
~ ~ ~
I was the girl who could draw.
Sports? Not so much.
Socially? Super shy.
Art was my thing to be good at.
(painted this from a "how to paint" book for my Dad in middle school)
My friends knew it.
My teachers knew it.
My parents knew it.
Then came high school in a town that was over 30 miles away.
Nobody there knew it.
How could they really?
I think there was an art room.
But no art teacher.
No art classes.
Without a way to grow it or show it, my gift was mostly hidden away.
My senior year I finally had the opportunity to display some art in the school hallway.
(oooh....the fashion phase-- probably copied from the Spiegel catalog)
Afterwards, a teacher said to me,
"I had NO idea! There's a whole other side of you I never knew."
Except to me it wasn't just a side.
(painted this in high school. it was basically copied from an illustration in a book.
mom framed it and hung it an the wall. are you noticing I copied things? that's how you teach yourself!)
I'm so thankful I had my parent's encouragement and support.
They signed me up for whatever art classes you could find in my small town,
sent me away to art camp, and framed my artwork to hang on the walls.
But my formative and art-less high school experience sent me a different message:
Art doesn't matter here.
Should've played sports.
Should've played in the band.
Should've been the smart one.
Somewhere down deep the message my heart heard was this:
If art doesn't matter,
neither does my gift.
There it is.
Do you hear it?
The lie that mingles so closely with what we believe to be true.
It's sneaky like that and hard to recognize.
It's subtle enough for you to accept it without a fight.
I didn't see it then, but I see it now.
The lie was just beginning to slither it's roots down into the foundation of my heart.
~ ~ ~
"The story of your life is the long and brutal assault on your heart
by the one who knows what you could be and fears it."
~John Eldredge, Waking the Dead