I put together a small and short time away for a few folks who are leading in different production areas at PCC. It was a great exercise for me, and I think it was productive for most of us.
Trying to push myself towards more creativity, I invested some time this week in crafting everybody a small notebook for the few hours that we would be there. Moleskine's for everyone (the least expensive multi-packs), hand-drawn names, cut and pasted paragraphs and bullet points...it was a major exercise in scrapbooking, without the photos.
It was good FOR ME. That sounds selfish, and I wonder if it was, considering that I probably spent 12 hours of my workweek cutting and pasting paper. But the end result was something that I think art ought to be - a created thing. Regardless of its value, it mattered to me; I created something tangible and real and personal, and presented it to people for whom I care deeply. It was content and craft, from me to them.
We studied the Bible and talked about trust and how to listen; we sang "Jesus Is My Friend" with guitar, vocals and spoons (that was fun.) We talked about our histories and we were creative. Then we talked about our creativity. Then we got creative.
We ate a lot.
We were quiet, too.
This morning I sat in the living room listening to the fire crackle. One of my friends sat on the other couch in the room, eyes closed, contemplative. Emotional. Deeply in touch with his creator. Another friend sat behind me, his pen whipping across the blank page of his journal, drilling deeply into the heart of his natural form of expression - his words. I heard another buried underneath the main floor of the cabin, tying together chords and melody in a song that beautifully expressed the heart cry of a psalm.
It was so, so good for me. So different. Not altogether easy, but even the difficult parts were managed with ease.
And the best part, I think: no wi fi. I was unconnected, untethered. The phone lived in the other room and I was free to see and think and feel and listen. That was a very, very good thing.
Sometimes, there is no explanation.