Tuesday, October 06, 2009

surrounded by art

Touring is definitely an experience of being "immersed" in one's art... I still have to shake my head and give myself a pinch, knowing that I get to travel around and sing my songs for and with communities all over the place... and in the last few communities that I've visited I've been particularly struck by what an affirming and life-giving thing it is to be surrounded by art, including art of your own making.

As I write this I am sitting in Hilda and Jake's living room... a couple in their eighties that have been generously hosting me here in Saskatoon... and as I look around I see 4 beautiful paintings by Hilda on the walls... and a series of 6 framed drawings that were made and given to her by her grandfather, who carried them out of Russia... that art is over a hundred years old...

At supper last night we enjoyed Jake's homemade wine made from buffalo berries and choke cherries that Jake and Hilda picked themselves (Hilda showed me the bush during our walk yesterday). This morning we had choke cherry and buffalo berry jam on our toast.

And the night before I did a house concert (and later slept) in the living room of the old schoolhouse which has been lovingly and beautifully restored by and is the home of Colleen and Jeff, sister and brother, in Duval Saskatchewan - both amazing artists in their own right, Colleen with songs and the written word, and Jeff with his pottery...



Before the house concert we had a potluck meal with about a dozen people, and every plate, cup, serving dish, pitcher... all of it was made a few feet away in Jeff's pottery studio... with more pottery displayed on shelves and bookcases all through the house. And during the concert Colleen sang one of her songs and dedicated it to Jeff and Nadia, who got engaged less than 24 hours before...

Even in the few hours I was in their home in Regina, I could tell that Ron and Toby are experienced - and take great delight - in their artistry as hosts (their home is known as the "Grace Mennonite Guest House"). Talking with Margaret and Gary about their pastoral vocation, and watching them interact with their community at the Hanley Community Centre on the evening of my concert there on Saturday, I was struck by the same kind of care and delight and artistry and quiet confidence...



There is something so affirming, so encouraging, so good and right about having a sense of vocation, of seeing and enjoying the fruit of your labours, together with friends, neighbours and strangers... something not always easy to find or experience, but what a joy when it is... A reflection, I'm sure, of the delight and creativity and satisfaction of a generous and creative/creator God who looks around the workshop (the garden, the kitchen table, the community centre), intimately acquainted with the process and materials of each and every piece, and says, with a great big smile...

"It is good."

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2 Comments:

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Lisa Cornish said...

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet you and hear God's Love spill from your lips; in funny songs...and in touching words.
May God bless you, your wife and son richly as you continue to serve Him.
keep up the great work Bryan :)
Lisa

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger Bryan Moyer Suderman said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement! It was great to meet, and sing with, you folks! Any chance you might be able to send me some of the pictures you took...?

 

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