Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Patron of the Arts

My weekend was filled with images -- including but not limited to:
  • color added/drenched photos capturing a poor Mississippi neighborhood, captured by a middle aged white woman
  • trucker chic on a young German
  • brilliant blue scenes marking an exit from a familiar artist's usual muted abstracts
  • a sky perfectly framing the downtown courthouse as to suggest painted backdrops from a 40s flick
  • black lines cutting through a peaceful white calm splashed with interpretive gold begging for stories to unfold

On Friday, the scene was bumper after bumper as a friend and I were reminded once again that in Houston traffic is a part of the equation that can't be ignored. Your shopping list might be short but if time and/or money are in short supply, your will will be tested. After numerous stops and starts, we found our edible rice paper, food coloring, not-quite-brass tacks, and candles and delivered them to the interactive art exhibit we were trying to assist.

Organized chaos reigned there. Everyone knew what they were doing but it all seemed to be happening at once. The contrast later in the evening when the whole scene had been transformed into this black/white/gold-candlelit canvas on which each participant would "paint" via experiences their own story was remarkable.

So peaceful . . . and yet I couldn't linger long because there were theater go-ers to be sat. My standing commitment as an usher overlapped with the art opening. So after youthful exuberance came the calm strength of veteran actors who were guests of our local company. They may have been well passed 60 but they carried the show on strong shoulders.

Later when we returned to the gallery and stepped into the roles of the elders in the group I encountered much less resistance within my own spirit. Thank you Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter for reminding me that age has its own reward.

German house guests were chauffeured to their proper locales the next day and I was off again to serve the local art scene as a gofer at the Bayou City Art Festival downtown. By the evening, when I met my next houseguest at the airport, my eyes were heavier but my heart lighter.

Sunday offered a picture of the church global. In my living room were some of the brightest and best at what they do. We dreamed. We challenged. We wondered. We may not have settled anything but I can't help but feel the day was a beginning.

An afternoon of more art, more people, more conversation and I closed the weekend before 10 p.m. even showed its face on my clock! I found myself resonating with the stories of how weary the Astros were after 18 innings.

Still, I'm sure they, like me, were smiling at all that had been and could be.

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