Thank You for Nomadic Strangers who Care about Practical Things.
Yesterday, I was working in my art studio. I glanced up to see a shadow standing outside my studio door. I walked over and opened the door to find a couple young fellows who would most probably have been Hippies if they had been born a couple decades earlier and had long hair. They looked a little bit lost but not concerned.
I asked “Are you looking for the Bellingham Art Tank?” (Though there is a sign above my door stating as much.)
One of them replied “I think we are looking for You.” as he looked into the studio and began studying my paintings on the wall with an intense interest.
“Well, here I am. Who are you guys?” (big grin, assuming they were not Homeland Security looking to send my artwork to a place without Habeas Corpus).
“Actually we were looking for a Tai Chi class in this building but we found you instead.”
An interesting conversation took place about syncronicity, meaning, art, traveling, yada yada yada…
Then one of them said “I would like to do art but I feel like I should be doing something more practical that helps the world, you know, like gardening and growing food.”
He stuttered just a little after seeing my jaw drop and then said “ I mean, art feeds the world too but…Wow some of your stuff should be in a museum, this is great!”
Nice save, very sweet.
I addressed his need to feel practical in giving to the world by stating my elaborate views about art, society, history, and more yada yada yada, then said “Come in and sit down right here.” I took them to the station with all my beads and jewelry making tools, handed them each some supplies and said “Make something beautiful with the intent of giving it to each other. Keep in mind that it is not for you, but to give away.”
The practical young fellow said “Wow, cool, I get it.” and started his piece for his friend while his friend worked on stringing a leather cord through a hand made monastery bead.
I left them to work at the bead table while I cleaned my paint brushes and put away my stuff for the day. I got done tidying up right about the time they were tying the artistic gift exchanges around their necks.
They looked at me and said Thank you.
I said “Thank each other. You just received a very unique gift from each other and nobody in the world has one exactly like it.
And that gift includes the record of this moment to remind you that you were here today. That’s the best part.
That’s what Art is about. It’s kind of like “growing food” but it doesn’t go bad, it feeds a different aspect of humanity, and you can digest it for a lifetime.”