drinks that match the ambiance: word of the day

[this blog post is best paired with hildegard knef’s “ich bin zu mude, em schlafen zu geh’n”]

shout out to lindsay for lettering this for me.

i learned a new word today.

gesamtkunstwerk.

(it’s german)

it translates as “ideal work of art,” “synthesis of the arts,” or “total artwork.”

richard wagner used ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ in two essays, art and revolution and the artwork of the future, sharing his ideal to unify all works of art—specifically through the theatre to reject meaningless and hollow plots. he later describes his ideal of the arts unified by a common purpose.

the term has been used architectural writers to describe the architect’s responsibility for the entirety of the building—the exterior and interior design, furnishings, decorations, and landscape. creating a trend of harmonious spaces—the interior of a building should complement the exterior. this reminds me specifically of the art nouvea movement, which link decorative arts to architecture and interior design, lending itself to a complete interior. god is in the details.

i love this idea of every detail of a space working in harmony with, not only the rest of the space, but also with the rest of the building. what an ambiance.

i also love the idea of unified arts especially for a common purpose. i recognize that wagner sought to unify the arts for theater—that’s not the purpose i would seek to unify the arts for. i’m not much of a theater person. but i love the idea of the arts unified for God’s glory. there is something good about art with a greater purpose. i think all art forms unified to glorify the Creator would truly fulfill “ideal works of art,” “synthesis of the arts,” and “total artwork.”

gesamtkunstwerk.

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better than not at all

[this blog post is best paired with the northern aurora flute choir’s “the water is wide”]

i made this today.

i don’t really like it.

but the practice of making was good.

so i’ll keep it.

it felt like a breathe of fresh air.

‘twas the night before christmas

[this blog post is best paired with relient k’s “have yourself a merry little christmas”]

tonight, the office celebrated christmas. our office has a tradition of making the interns put on a show for the staff. this year, we performed a parody of ’twas the night before christmas.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the office

Not a creature was stirring, not even a beta.

The paintings were hung in the gallery with care,

In hopes that Kris Keating soon would be there;

The interns were nestled all snug at their desks,

While visions of escargot danced in their heads;

And Megan in her snuggie, and Johnny in his wrap

Had just settled down for a long winter’s chat.

When out in the alley there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the back room I flew like a flash,

Ran over poor Hope and fell into the trash.

The moonlight, it gleamed on my beautiful car,

Giving me the assurance that it wasn’t too far.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature van, and eight tired interns.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Kris.

More rapid than eagles his interns they came,

And he brought out his megaphone and called them by name;

“Now, LINDSAY! now, SARAH! now, JOEL and ANGELA!

On, RACHEL! on JEANS! on, BETHANY and MORIAH!

To Turkey, to Georgia, to China and Nepal!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

So up to the roof-top the interns they flew,

With the van full of ketchup, and St. Kristopher too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Kristopher came with a bound.

He was dressed all in leather, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were not tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of beans he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the gel in his hair put on quite the show.

The stump of a cig he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

(The nations will be reached; what are you going to do about it?)

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly. (Sike)

He was fresh from the gym, a fit little elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And trashed Myers Briggs; then turned with a jerk,

And spreading his fingers to show off his rings,

Folding his hands and giving a nod,

He sprang to his truck, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew to the fields for their mission.

Then I heard him exclaim, as he gave a little twerk,

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, NOW LET’S GO TO WORK.

i had the honor of playing the part of kristopher keating.

thoughts that are good because they are.

[this blog post is best paired with bill withers’ “lovely day”]

be affected.

be impressed.

learn to delight.

how great is it that our God longs for our eternity while He cares about our now. praise God because He made this a place for us to enjoy and to work for and to better–and not to simply wait until He brings us home.

there is purpose in our enjoyment.

that feels powerful.

man’s real work is to look at the things of the world and to love them for what they are. that is, after all, what God does, and man was not made in God’s image for nothing. –supper of the lamb

drinks that match the ambiance: research

[this blog post is best paired with silence]

the interns are reading the supper of the lamb. this is an exercise from chapter two.

“You have just now reduced it to its parts, shivered it into echoes, and pressed it to a memory, but you have also caught the hint that a thing is more than the sum of all the insubstantialities that comprise it. Hopefully, you will never again argue that the solidities of the world are mere matters of accident, creatures of air and darkness, temporary and meaningless shapes out of nothing. Perhaps now you have seen at least dimly that the uniquenesses of creation are the result of continuous creative support, of effective regard by no mean lover. He likes onions, therefore they are. The fit, the colors, the smell, the tensions, the tastes, the textures, the lines, the shapes are a response, not to some forgotten decree that there may as well be onions as turnips, but to His present delight—His intimate and immediate joy in all you have seen, and in the thousand other wonders you do not even suspect. With Peter, the onion says, Lord, it is good for us to be here. Yes, says God. Tov. Very good.”

searching for my mouth and finding my hands

[this blog post is best paired with paul simon’s “sound of silence”]

today, leah asked me if i made art and if i showed it.

i said yes and no.

i make stuff, but i don’t show it anywhere because it’s more for me–it’s about the process. the finished product is rarely something worth looking at or something that i think someone else would find visually stimulating or thought provoking.

i told her that i don’t think people would enjoy the things i make as much as i enjoy making them–especially not as finished products.

after i shared this thought with her, it felt true to what i thought, but it felt wrong to what it should be.

i am sad to realize how selfish that is and that i have put limitations on my community without giving them a chance to understand my head through my hands. and sometimes my hands don’t do my head justice, but i shouldn’t rob them of the opportunity. if we were made to be in community then so are our thoughts and our creations.

i have felt a heavy reservedness fall upon me since coming to richmond. which unfortunately is not unusual for me. when i moved to manhattan, ks, i went through a similar process of turning inward and slowly opening as i found my niche, but it didn’t last this long. and i already knew my niche before i came to richmond. i was going to live and work in my niche. and i love it. i am comfortable and confident with these people. there is value in sharing, disclosing, and engaging with a community. and as i grapple for my words like trying to catch butterflies in a dark room with a hole in my net, it came over me that i have found my hands.

maybe it has something to do with living and working in an art gallery and being around so many creatives all the time, but i have rarely felt so consistently inspired and driven to create as i have the last three months. while i have been struggling to find my words, i have neglected to share in another way. maybe a more intimate way—

i make stuff.

i’m no capital a artist, but i make valuable things that reveal a process, a heart, and a mind.

so here’s a thing that i made a while ago. it’s part of watercolor series painted with some of my tears.