I believe in things that are hand crafted.
I value the skill and time it takes to make something by hand, maybe because I am so inept at making things with my own hands.
I do not really know much about art and design; I know what I like, which is usually what I have taken the time to recognize and appreciate. I do know that the most important thing about making art is actually making it.
Creativity is not so much about coming up with the idea for me. I can understand things conceptually. The challenge for me is turning my concepts and ideas into something real.
It may be that I am not patient enough. It may be that I am too much of a perfectionist. It may be that I am afraid of committing myself. The process of getting what I see in my heart and mind out into the world through my hands is a real challenge for me.
I appreciate people who are better at it than I am, who can express their ideas and feelings in tangible, sensual ways. It is as though they see or hear, or taste or feel, more clearly or deeply than the rest of us, and then clear away the things that distract other people.
The monks I know have lives which seek a balance that includes prayer, reflection, and labor. Like Medieval monks who illuminated manuscripts, monks today create works of art that share their true selves. These works include painting and musical compostions, baking bread, and even brewing beer. The art, and the way they create it, reflects the clarity of their lives. They craft things by hand to shape their life in the monastery, and share that life with the rest of us.
What is the last thing you made with your own hands?
[Image by wolfgangfoto]