Chapter 2 is “What Is Hidden Art?” Edith defines it as art found in the “minor” or “everyday” areas of life rather than art as one’s occupation or profession. Because we have different gifts and interests, the “hidden art” in each of our lives might look a little different. Because we have multiple demands on our time, no one can do it all. But incorporating some degree of artistry and creativity will require some discipline and prioritizing:
“All art involves conscious discipline. If one is going to paint, do sculpture, design a building or write a book, it will involve discipline in time and energy — or there would never be any production at all to be seen, felt or enjoyed by ourselves or others. To develop ‘Hidden Art’ will also, of course, take time and energy – and the balance of the use of time is a constant individual problem for all of us: what to do, and what to leave undone. One is always having to neglect one thing in order to give precedence to something else. The question is one of priorities” (p. 32).
But the discipline and prioritizing are worth it.
“It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for us” (p. 32).
That doesn’t mean we can or should “drop everything to concentrate on trying to develop into great artists” (p. 32), nor does it necessarily mean we need to take courses in Art, which can sometimes discourage, making us feel “‘outside’ the magic circle of the talented” (p. 33). But we begin to develop an eye for seeing the artistic and then incorporating it in everyday ways.
I loved this chapter on many levels. I liked the encouragement to seek the beauty in everyday life as well as the acknowledgement that we’re limited in what we can do, and that’s ok.
In the “middle age” of life I’m in now, those limitations actually help provide focus. For instance, I’d love to learn how to play an instrument. I know I could take lessons even now in my mid-50s (I know an 84-year-old who takes lessons!) But I’ve sometimes said I have enough things I want to do to keep me occupied til I’m over 100. The time it would take to practice and learn an instrument well enough to begin to enjoy it is time I’d rather spend in other pursuits right now (though sometimes I’m still tempted!)
But though lessons of some kind can be beneficial and enjoyable, the focus of this book is more on little touches and everyday ways to incorporate creativity. I’m looking forward to the next chapters!
There is a Hidden Art of Homemaking Pinterest Board where members have been posting some of the everyday beauty in their lives, mostly outdoors shots so far. Here are some from around the house (some current, some past):
You can find others’ thoughts on Chapter 2 here. Normally the link-up post is on Tuesdays. My Tuesday this week was taken up with hubby’s surgery for a detached retina, but I hope to be posting these chapters on or before Tuesdays from here on out.