A quick hello from the maze and brilliance and hum of life that is this famous New York City. I am here for a few days for a small arts and faith conference by an intuitive movement called International Arts Movement. Our conferences rooms have been small classrooms on the 13th and 14th floors of a building just blocks away from Ground Zero. I have been fascinated, perching in my corner on the windowsill during the talks, staring out at a world made of dark-eyed windows in long, brick faces of ruddy red, or faded yellow, or steeled gray. I think it added flavor to my enjoyment of the talks on how to have faith within the arts, how to communicate what is essentially true about humanity, discussions on film, poetry, literature. And of course, since its NY, the spice and fun of great performances by Billy Collins (poet) and Helen Sung (jazz pianist). Much of this is territory unfamiliar to me, jazz isn’t my usual favorite music, but I delight in the sheer brilliance of the musical ability of the people I’ve met, love the tang of unfamiliar ways of thinking, the spurring thrill of being exposed to different ways of channeling God’s relentless creativity.
Anyway. Joel took a photo of me in Times Square, so I’ll try to insert that here as soon as I manage to get hold of the photo. For now, here’s a quote (or actually, several lines cobbled together from my notes) from an essay and talk given by Makoto Fujimura, artist and founder of IAM:
Where there is no gift, there is no art. Art is driven by generosity. Art pushes us into that moment where we might leap in faith. Every action is a gift or a curse. Every act humanizes or dehumanizes. So in your art and in your life, create generously.
That’s worth a healthy few minutes of contemplation, don’t you think?