Friday, May 12, 2006

Joie de vivre

Last Saturday I posted on the contemplative artistic/spiritual experience I’d had at the Friends Meeting House/James Turrell installation. This morning, the artistic extravaganza I participated in originated at the extreme other end of the spectrum–it was as vibrant, loud, rollicking, celebratory and giddy as the FMH experience was profound, quiet, awe-inducing, ancient. Several hundred grade schoolers were let loose to discharge their creative impulses. This art was all about the means, the joy of making. At one point, a preview of Art Cars from Saturday’s upcoming Art Car Parade (another favorite Houston event) rolled through with horn blasts and smoke and mirrors. Wayne led Samantha’s second grade class in reproducing a rendering of a Jean-Michel Basquait while I helped Hayley’s kindergarten class draw crowned kings (I think. They might have been jokers). Free of any considerations other than what they could bring forth in color and chalk on a sidewalk, they freely inhabited the space that now, as adults, we go to all sorts of exotic lengths to recover. That time-stopped, innocent, safe, thrilling, wondrous and, dare I say, spiritual place. I couldn’t help but imagine God smiling and remembering how much fun it was to get His hands in some clay. Which must be why we get such great sunsets.

Clouds chalking the sky to kids chalking the ground. And to think, it’s all in a week’s work. Or make that 6 days.

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