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New Light

smiling-chinese-woman.jpgIt has been some time since I have written anything.  I have been working on getting a piece ready for the Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco.  I shipped out 6 pieces for their exhibition “Afterlife” and finished printing a block print for my church’s production of “God’s Trombones” which we will be putting on this spring. 

I have been struggling with feeling depressed again, and these overwhelming feelings have been draining me.  To distract myself, I have been learning about making African drums and finding the topic quite interesting.  My father and I are making a few Ashiko drums and possibly will be making a number of other conical, cylindrical, and compound conical drums in the next few months.  I am hoping to use these drums to facilitate a number of drum circles in my community, bringing drums that people can play.  Drum circles remind me so much of grace … a gift of rhythm that cannot be possessed and only grows if it  is added to by joining with others.  Rhythm is a gift that is freely given to everyone who listens to the beating of their own heart.

I have been trying to figure out again what it means for me to pursue art making in a humble, little way – a way that gets away from the kinds of rewards that society tells us that we need to have to measure our worth.  I am coming back to this.

 I heard a friend this weekend who plays in a gospel-rock-blues band who is doing a two-week tour this summer of homeless shelters between Denver and Grand Rapids.  I have never heard of such a thing – people who want to play music specifically for the homeless … and it seemed like the kind of thing that would make God smile. 

I want to make art in a similar spirit.

 God, move me.