Saturday, May 04, 2013

Talents and trust, and the music chapter (Hidden Art of Homemaking, Chapter 3)

"If what we have
we believe we have gotten,
and if what we have
we believe we must hold onto,
and if what we have
is not available to others,
then we will live in anxiety.

"If what we have
we receive as a gift,
and if what we have
is to be cared for by God,
and if what we have
is available to others,
then we will possess freedom from anxiety.

"This is the inward reality of simplicity."  ~~ Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline

I get anxious about the challenges of The Hidden Art of Homemaking, from Chapter 3 on.

Because Chapter 3 is music, Chapter 4 is art, and so on.  Something definite is going to be demanded of me.

I get anxious because I don't think I have "gotten" enough talent in any of those areas to make it worth worrying about.  I get anxious because I would rather hold on to the little I have (hold on to it in private, thank you), than risk being compared with those who have serious talent.  I feel guilty because, out of the small talents I do have, I probably haven't worked hard enough on improving them.  I get anxious because I would not think of nailing leather over a barrel to make a chair.  Joyce Radway,  I am not.

But look, this is what Richard Foster is saying: 

Our creativity did not come from us.  We have not "gotten" it ourselves. It is not ours to hide under the bed with.  It is not ours to obssess over, whether we think we have enough or not enough, whether we have read enough interior design magazines or listened to enough Beethoven CDs.  It has been given to us by God, is cared for by God, and needs to be used, made available to others, in a spirit of thankfulness.

And yes, if there is no real awareness of what is dull or ugly or un-creative, or just too random in our lives; no deliberate attempt to try to improve those things, a bit at a time; then we do need to be dissatisfied, even to repent.  We don't need to set the curtains on fire in an attempt to beautify, as one of Louisa May Alcott's characters did; but we need to be open to trying. (Hmm, that didn't come out quite right--trying to celebrate creativity, not trying to start fires!)

This is one thing I have done lately about music:  bought a couple of new-to-me CDs at the thrift store.  We often have the radio on ("the radio" is a misnomer in this house--say one of many), particularly tuned to a favourite FM jazz station; but again, that is somewhat random.  What I want are a few music choices that I can put on, when I want them, and listen repeatedly.  I don't have any of those gadgets that shuffle tunes and so on--tapes and CDs will do fine, but I want to listen a bit more deliberately.  Right now I'm rotating between a Handel CD (NOT the Water Music, I've heard that way too often), a CD of lute music, and a CD of the original Quartetto Gelato members.  Here's something by QG's more recent incarnation:

Linked from The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Linky for Chapter 3, at Ordo Amoris.

Related posts:
On cupcakes and ceramic unicorns, and something more
Embroidered homebodies
Quote from "Drawing Lessons"


Barbara H. said...

Lovely video. I hadn't heard of the Quartetto Gelato.

What comforted me in regard to this chapter was that earlier she said no one could do all of these various aspects of art, and it would help just to learn to appreciate them more even if we couldn't "perform" them. Even if I can't make music (other than singing around the house), I can grow in my appreciation of it.

That's a neat truth that our creativity is a gift of God, not a matter of our own conjuring, and can be used and developed for Him.

hsmomino said...

I enjoyed your post, Mama Squirrel.
and I can relate the the anxiety of not developing the few talents I've been gifted.
What I'm taking away from this book study is to recognize, embrace, enjoy art and beauty as well as creating it.
I like your focus on being deliberate with your selections. I think that is one of the things I appreciate about Charlotte Mason's philosophy of teaching.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this chapter! Now I'm off to view the QG video. It's a new group to me.

Cindy said...

Love La Vie en Rose no matter who does it. So bittersweet.

Linda said...

I liked the way you focused on the idea of thankfulness, rather than anxiety, in pursuing creativity.

Edith said that our talent, no matter how small and hidden, can be developed. This gives me hope.

GretchenJoanna said...

I love the thoughts of the two authors complement each other in your readings. That's a gift from God, too, isn't it....