Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sing the Love Amazing

"In art, either as creators or participators, we are helped to remember some of the glorious thing we have forgotten, and some of the terrible things we are asked to endure."~Madeleine L'Engle

I think part and parcel of being an artist is reflecting every so often of the value of what you're doing. Which often involves fretting over the question: "Is what I'm doing actually important?". The other day, I seriously entertained the thought of being a doctor. ["Seriously entertained" meaning I thought: "Gosh. I really *should* be a doctor. I wonder how possible it'd be to switch from Theatre/PLS to Pre-Med...I wonder if anyone's done that before...What am I doing with my life?"] Doctors are kind of majorly essential, and they actively help people in a very substantial way. The difficulty of being an artist is that you can't really see or measure the substantial good (or harm) you do for people. But there are a couple of things that gently reminded me that art, that beauty, is essential for life. Not for existence, but for life.

One of those things was the above Madeleine L'Engle quote. Another was the hymn "O God Beyond All Praising" which our choir's been singing. Not gonna lie, the first time I heard that song I started weeping like a baby. It was pretty pathetic. And ever since, that song has never failed to bring tears to my eyes. I don't know what it is, but the melody makes me want to run, and leap, fly and soar, and it also breaks my heart. And the lyrics are all gorgeously poetic. And one day one lyric will stand out to you. On Sunday when we sang "to marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways," I was definitely marveling at the beauty. And yesterday when we sang "whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill, we'll triumph through our sorrow and rise to bless you still," my heart danced a little jig. Those words are full of majesty and grace, and they're so joyful that I'm never sure if I'm supposed to laugh and cry.

Finally, last night, a bunch of us choristers watched Fellowship of the Ring. Those movies are so epic. Straight up incredible. One of my friends kept saying: "Man. I wish that this was real." I think that's the awesome beauty of Tolkein's world-it makes us homesick for a home we've never seen, and it reminds us of all the glorious things we've forgotten. C.S. Lewis would call that Joy. And if I could create art like Tolkein's-a second creation that reflects the wonder and beauty of Creation-then I think that's a worthwhile use of a life. Better than worthwhile-a good use of a life.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of those 'you've-said-everything-so-perfectly-and-gorgeously-that-there's-nothing-left-for-me-to-say-but-you-should-know-that-I'm-loving-this-to-tiny-little-pieces' comments. :)