I just returned from being there for a week. It was an amazing place to get away and gain some head-space. I went with 3 friends of mine and we did about 35 miles of hiking and lots of relaxing and soaking in the sights of those mountains. The mountain range is pretty unique and I found myself constantly reaching for my camera in an effort to capture what was before me; impossible, but I kept trying. I took over 500 photos while I was there. The whole trip was truly a gift. I thought about the beauty of those mountains; whether I or anyone else was there to take it in or not, they were always that spectacular. It didn't take a human eye to call it beautiful for the mountains to be so beautiful. They are created by a God who seems to find joy in creating beauty for the sake of beauty. After climbing up "Hanging Canyon" (ouch, my quads!), we came upon a field lavished with many different kinds of wildflowers. I felt like I was being let in on a wonderful secret. I thought about the kids on my block and how when Isaiah smiles and waves "hello" or Makia siddles up for a hug, I feel the same emotion... like I'm getting a precious opportunity to see something that not everyone get the chance to see.
It's all making me think about the creative process. Most of our creativity is squelched or paralyzed by the thought of what an observer will have to say about the product. Creating for the sake of "correct-ness;" seeking to make the beauty that others will call beautiful. In fact, these types of inhibitions can be transferred over into the way we live our lives; we're paralyzed by our fear of failure in the eyes of any observer that may have an opinion about what we have done. I know that I fall prey to that sort of mental struggle whether I am working on an art project or even picking out an outfit for the day. I would like to gain the freedom to take more risks; I would like to spend more time creating for the sake of the process as opposed to the product. How can this be part of the character of the community arts at Ayuda?
How can we spend our days as those wildflowers? Bloom... just fully go there and lay it all out whether anyone passes by to take note or not, enjoying the beauty of being and the beauty of the surroundings we find ourselves in, and then pass when the time comes. Shine simply for the sake of the glory of the One who created us; find pleasure in seeing the work of God in other's faces and in where we find ourselves planted. Driving into Philly at 1AM early Sunday morning, I was glad to see the familiar skyline (although returning to the Philly humidity was quite a shock). It's good to be back on our block and good to be back at my work here at Ayuda. I'm feeling excited to be here, create here, and partake of the creative work of those around me.