The Art Journey

My husband dreams of buying an original piece of art one day so we stray into art galleries on our rare weekends away.  We stroll through discussing what we see.  What we like.  What we don’t.  Picking out that original piece of art gradually changed from a notch on our belt…something to hang on the wall and accomplish, a box to check, into a marriage journey of sorts.

A few years passed before I took my husband seriously.  Buying this original piece is a life dream of his.  I like art and I like original art but I tend to be, how shall I say it?  Cheap.  My husband is frugal and between the two lies a great chasm.  The cost stared me down for years, a barrier to enjoying our art gallery browsing.DSC_0069

At one time, my husband liked the “painter of light” and I most definitely did not.  The ensuing years fleshed out how I felt and forced him to define why he liked what he liked.  Too perfect, too defined, too cliché to me.  Safe, complete, harmonious, calm to him.  I looked at Kincaid in the mall and understood the peace he craves in contrast to the chaos of his upbringing.  I still don’t like Kincaid or art in the mall but I understood why he liked Kincaid.  He began to understand me too.  He began to appreciate the messiness in art that describes so much of life.  The play of colors slashed across a canvas whispered to him and then he understood me just a little more.  Life is messy.

Eventually I embraced our quest for original low-end art.  I accepted my husband’s dream and took it on as my own.  Now I dream the dream as well.  We finally realized with a spark of shock after 14 years of marriage that the pilgrimage to our piece of art is more about our marriage than the art.  Through art we discover each other.  As my love for a style I don’t even know how to name clashes with my husbands mild distaste for same said style, we meet, my husband and I.  We discover each other.  We grow and change and put words to the changes through the media of brush strokes and colors on a canvas.

I feel we never will find our piece of art.  Our search spans like a railroad track that veers closer and closer but never quite meets this side of heaven.  In fact, I almost oppose actually purchasing a piece because I enjoy the journey so much.  Wandering the streets of the world and popping in shops…talking about us through art.

The blank wall remains open filling up with more than the permanence of a painting.

What place does art take in your life?

Second Fiddle

I played second fiddle for almost 8 years of my life. Through junior high and high school I fell just short of being the best.  I was almost evenly matched, but not quite.  For a few weeks in there I played first fiddle but I can probably count them on one, maybe two hands.

Our rivalry lasted 8 years and was somewhat of a legend during our time in school.  8 years of dueling in front of the same 60 people does that.  8 years of sharing first stand in the viola section.  As time went on I began to lose more often.

Can I say I lost when losing still meant 2nd place?  Yes, I lost.  I began to lose my joy in playing.  I tried almost my best and slowly gave up.  My rival seemed to have to win.  I lacked that competitive drive or maybe I just got tired of trying my best and coming up short.  Or maybe I just wasn’t as talented?

In my adult life, I prided myself on not being competitive.  I didn’t have to win like some other people.  I enjoyed the activity more than the outcome.  But, every time I got upset during competitive situations I faced more of the truth.  I am competitive.

Being second fiddle is a place of longing.  Longing to be first, to be recognized, to be better than, yet knowing the judgement has come down.  I’d been found wanting. I consoled myself that I would’ve won if I’d tried harder but he wanted it more.  Second best?  It sure feels better to say I just didn’t try.

Unique.  One of a kind.  Valuable.  So much is competition and it seems so ingrained in my soul.  To not rank, to not measure, feels wholly bizarre at times!  The body passages gain more ground these days as I think about unique.  Unique functions, unique places, unique value and purpose but altogether important to each other to work properly.  More and more, unique is becoming the lens I desire to see others and myself through.

How do you uniquely contribute to the body of Christ?  How can you encourage the uniqueness of others?