July 10, 2020
Book Stores, Museums, Parks, Beaches
As I titled this week’s blog, I realized that these are four of the places where I discover inspiration for writing, for creating worship experiences, for life in general. I love to wander around in bookstores, especially the used book variety. They hold a fascination for me. Museums of any kind, although I tend to wander toward the art variety, expose us to ideas and visual elements that can do nothing less than expand our consciousness and knowledge if we engage with the exhibits in any way. Parks, beaches, almost anything involving spending time in nature, inspire me in more internal, spiritual ways, which is just as vital for me.
In these times when the Covid-19 virus is still so active in our midst, and in many places there is an increase in the number of people who have been affected by it, our access to places like museums and beaches, even parks, has been limited. Here in Southern California our beaches were closed for the 4th of July weekend, an incredibly unusual experience, but then these are incredibly usual times. Many of the places that I would normally visit in order to discover new ideas and inspirations are either closed or not very safe to visit right now.
Which turns the search for inspiration into a whole different journey of discovery. In some ways, it invites us to be creative with the search itself. One such resource for me is my own bookshelves. There are books I read long ago, and ones that I bought but haven’t found time to read, and those adventures, or re-discoveries await me close at hand. As I take an occasional walk through our neighborhood, I am always intrigued by the small lending libraries that people offer for those who are out getting some exercise. These are the ones where you are free to take a book, or to leave a book. It is a great idea. Then there are the museums. Both from a standpoint of offering a service, and also I imagine to keep their presence in front of people, many museums offer expanded online exhibitions and experiences in these times. I get several emails each week offering such opportunities. It is another resource that we can access while staying at home.
And finally, there is our own imagination from which we can draw deeply. I know that some of us are working very hard in these times, even if we are at home. I know that is true for me. But there are still those times when we take a moment to step aside from the computer, or leave the phone in the other room, or walk outside to get some fresh air, and in those moments we may be especially free to let our imagination go, and to draw fresh life from it. And if that doesn’t work, grab a novel and get lost in the world that the author creates. Experiencing someone else’s creativity is another way to spark our own.
Welcome to my website. I hope you will discover a connection to the life of small churches, and the richness that the arts can bring to these churches.