I am so thankful for them.
Now that THAT season of my life is over, (thank you God), I am appreciating anew, how much art, in all it's forms, is healing. And life-giving. And just plain awesome.
First - it was movies.
I couldn't do much last December. Four hours of work a day was my limit.
But I did manage to see a dozen movies. Thank you to the friends who sat with (the comatose version of) me in theatres this winter. Most movies I had to see twice, and sometimes three times before I actually 'saw' them. Oh my goodness, Silver Linings Playbook really was a great movie...
Then January rolled around and I was working 5 - 7 hours a day.
And I was introduced to British television on DVD.
It started with Mandi, introducing me to Jonas, aka Robin Hood, and from there it was a slippery downward slide into total obsession with British/Irish actors.
After Robin Hood (all three seasons, against Mandi's advice), I was invited to enjoy North and South, where the bad guy (Guy of Gisborne) from Robin Hood played the the romantic lead (Mr. Thornton). So it was back to Robin Hood again - this time to watch/appreciate Richard Armitage tortured by his unrequited love for Marian. After that, it was Downton Abby, where Kate from Robin Hood was Anna, and Higgins from North and South, was Bates. And then? Game of Thrones; seasons one and two. Where nice Will Scarlett from Robin Hood was the evil Viserys Targaryen. And then .. well you get the idea.
There must be a fairly small pool of actors in the UK, because the same ones keep showing up. Which is OK with me. They're starting to feel like family; we've spent so much time together in my house. Most of the male actors have some Irish in them, or are from 'the north', so they have these delightful, distinct accents. I suck at accents, but sometimes I catch myself thinking in Irish before speaking in Canadian. Weird, yes?
Anyways, all of that was very healing.
I'd come home from work, grab a bite to eat, then meet a friend for coffee and a dose of reality, then come home again and escape for an hour or two in front of my TV. No one stole anything from me. No one fired me. Or said mean things to me. My dad didn't die. My mom and I had dinner together often. My kids kept in touch. My friends were all one text away. It was a gentle way to re-enter life fulltime.
By February I was working 8 hour days and completely re-engaging with a normal-ish life. And in February - the art form that I got re-acquainted with was music.
Mumford and Sons, I Will Wait (with a 3x repeat) is on my morning commute playlist. And it's kinda become my prayer. I WILL wait.
And after seeing Building 459 live recently, I've become a huge fan. This song is on repeat as well:
Right Beside You:
And then today, Connie posted this video on her blog, AND I'M HOOKED. I've listened to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros about 100 times today. It's the perfect sunny Sunday afternoon song. I've not only been listening, I've been dancing.
Dancing. Do you know how long it's been that I've danced with abandon in my kitchen? TOO long.
I'm a man on fire
Walking through your street
With one guitar
And two dancing feet
Only one desire
That's left in me
I want the whole damn world
To come dance with me
I love this.
"I want the whole damn world to come dance with me."
Next up is books.
I admit this is the hardest for me. It's the last part of me to get better...
Watching movies and DVD's and listening to music is easy. Reading takes energy and concentration... and I'm just not there yet. I have a book to read tonight. It's 9 pm, so I've got 4 hours to read 400 pages before my book club meeting tomorrow night. Fingers crossed.
Even though books are posing a challenge for me, blogs are not. And today I got caught up on some of my favorites. Jon Acuff posted this on this Stuff Christians Like blog, and it so so very lovely and perfect and praiseworthy, I'm posting it here:
(If there are too many words for you to read, just read the ones I've made bold.)
The reason the church is not known as being a global leader in creativity and excellence is pretty simple. We missed God’s love letter to artists.
Did you see that?
Every time artists use their skills, someone is helped; someone's temple is being rebuilt.
My temple, (aka, me) has been rebuilt, partly, because of the artists around me, using their skills.
(That, and a whole lot of prayer. And love.)
So, my question to you is, What is your skill? Are you willing to use it? Do you trust God enough?