Friday, July 8, 2011

Even attempts are respectable.

In thriving communities, RESPECT for each individual's uniqueness is essential. Tonight, we talked about this theme, the R of our acronym C.R.E.A.T.E. Kids created mono-print collages, putting cut-out scrap paper together to form an image on a plexi-glass surface. In each image, kids were instructed to create something that represented the idea of RESPECT. I had to laugh because in almost every image displaying RESPECT, a sun could be seen shining. :)

After cutting the scrap pieces of paper, kids waited SO PATIENTLY (and I am serious when I say that) to have their plexi-glass background coated in black ink, and every scrap cut-out coated with another ink color of their choosing. The plexi-glass surface acted as a plate, and paper was gently placed on top and then put through a hand-driven press. You will have to look at pictures of each print, 'cause I am really failing at finding the right words to describe the awesomeness that was produced. And I like to describe things.

It seems whenever we discuss the theme RESPECT, I think of one of my parents. This week, I brought my mom to the Village.

My mom ... doesn't like art. She never really has. As we talked on Tuesday night over making dinner, she told me the horror stories of her failed art projects in grade school. "My 1st grade teacher once yelled at me for not cutting straight," she tells me, and I laugh. "Seriously?" Her face is solemn. "Yes she did, Jessie. I was 6 ... Did she really expect straight lines?" she ponders aloud. Mom also tells me of the clay figure of a mouse she tried to make in the 7th grade. "It didn't look like a mouse at all," she says, and then smiles, "so I told everyone I tried to make a made-up animal no one had ever heard of." She says this and I can't help but imagine Napoleon's "Liger," from Napoleon Dynamite ... her mouse turning out to be some three-legged, winged creation with one eye and tail.

Growing up, however, her lack of artistic talent never stopped her from supporting mine. Well, at least I like to think I had (and have) some artistic talent. I remember when photography became my obsession in high school. One day, out of the blue, she came home with a photo album. She had seen it in a catalog (you know, one of those fundraiser ones that kids tote to their parent's job, hoping to sell enough stuff to earn points for some really cool prize, like a t-shirt) and bought it, just for me. It was, for lack of a better word, ugly. It was covered in big, gaudy-looking orange flowers, and only held 5x7's, but it is probably one of the best gifts I have ever received. I hadn't even realized she noticed I liked to take pictures.

So tonight, for her to come, despite her knowledge of any kind of printmaking, and help with the Village Art Project, meant a lot. She knows how much it means to me to be there and I couldn't help but respect her willingness to try, just because she loves me.

Now if only she would stop trying to marry me off ...

Love in the King Jesus,


  1. Great post, Jess. I wonder how your mom's situation would have been different if she'd been met with praise instead of criticism...someone to help her go farther with the imaginary animal. This post reminds me that creating is a risky, vulnerable activity that deserves a safe, encouraging space. We all stand to gain from engaging the creativity inside us...something we ALL have because we've been made in the image of a creative God. Thanks for writing this out!