Thursday, November 8, 2012

Creative juices and the uphill battle

“The Arts at Bluffton” was featured at Forum this week. Bluffton professors created and shared visual art, music, theatre and the written word to a standing-room-only crowd in Yoder Recital Hall.

Visual artists Gregg Luginbuhl, Phil Sugden and Andi Baumgartner created pottery, drawings and a poster while musicians Lucia Unrau and Crystal Sellers Battle performed, authors Jeff Gundy and Susan Carpenter gave readings and the student cast from “The Real Inspector Hound” performed a scene from this weekend’s performance.

While all was well done and the shared creative talents impressive; two in particular grabbed my interest. Personally, I could watch Gregg Luginbuhl throw pots for hours. It’s mesmerizing to watch someone take a hunk of ‘mud’ and within just a few minutes – in the right hands – it’s a bowl, a vase…

Susan’s reading was based on the story of the Greek god Sisyphus who was sentenced to forever push a boulder up a mountain just to have it roll back to the bottom, requiring that he start the process all over. (Sound familiar? Can you say laundry, landscaping, homework, fill-in-the-blank with any annoying, repetitive, boring task.)

Her thesis was that as Sisyphus made his way back to the bottom of the mountain, he was free of his labor. Free to enjoy the beauty around him, if only for a while.

I’m looking forward to getting a copy of this essay in order to read it slowly, reflectively. What I took from her reading is that every day, every moment, we are either going up or down the mountain. Curling up with a cup of tea – down the mountain; the screech for MOM from the next room – up the mountain.

Learning to throw pots; music lessons as a young child – up the mountain. The first piece of pottery that actually looks like a vase; flawlessly performing a difficult piece – down the mountain.

One cannot truly enjoy the trip down the mountain, unless you have struggled up the mountain.

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