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Sabbath Revival: The Cult of Art

By Julia Blue

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Two months ago I married a man who, first and foremost, is a creator…someone who creates. He wears the word “Create” on a leather and brass wrist band he made for himself every day, a reminder that as Latter Day Saints, we are all about creating. We create families, homes, the environment around us, and eventually, will create our own worlds. The thoughts Maralise shared in her post from March 2008 resonated with me in light of my new life. (And don’t be jealous, but he gave me a tool belt that matches his for Christmas!)

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There is nothing sexier to me than a man who would build a house. With me. Someone who would listen to my ramblings about design and then (breathe deeply here) help me figure out a way to implement them. And who would know what went under floors and behind walls so that I could then paint and cover them. And who would wear a tool belt while doing all of this. Boy howdy, if that’s not hot, I don’t know what is. Just typing it makes me even more excited than when I read Eugene Woodbury’s fantasy romance a few days ago.

You see, I have worshiped art and artists for as long as I can remember (what does a half-naked-sweaty-creative-builder-person have to do with art? Keep reading, I’m going to Cjane this thing together in a minute). I can still remember the names, dates, styles and artists of the paintings I learned about in 5th grade Art History. But, I just can’t call myself an artist. I studied the Humanities in college, learned how to photograph as an adult, I’ve wrangled two kids and followed my husband from state to state and country to country, I’ve designed and re-designed each house I live in, I even have an artistic temperament (read: a lot of crazy with a dollop of moodiness on the side). But I just can’t say it.

I would venture a guess that this title has escaped most of us. Being an artist somehow implies something bigger and better than our everyday selves. It implies that we’ve had a piece of canvas hung on a certain wall in a certain gallery.

I have reluctantly accepted my lack of artist status. I’m not arrogant or self-deluded enough to be offended that my own children don’t even like my stick drawings.

BUT, and this is a big but, I just can’t get over the idea that even without a title we’re meant to be creative beings. That our future spiritual selves depend upon our gaining an ability to create. Something. Anything. Everything, in fact.

My most non-artistic friend called me a few years ago to tell me about a picture she had hung in her office. It had flowers in it. They were yellow. She thought that this description would prove that she was developing her ‘artsy’ side. Well, she was wrong. It didn’t prove it. But what proved it was her ability to become a marketing executive, a partial stay-at-home mom, a writer, and a wife who follows every whim of her husband’s dreams ALL AT THE SAME TIME. What proved it was that she led soccer teams to district championships and managed to completely redo a needy neighbor’s home by gathering volunteers and donations. What did it was her utter inability to imagine that she COULDN’T do whatever it was she wanted or needed to. Now, that’s an Artist. I’d hang her work up in my bathroom anytime.

So, here’s to hoping that my intellectual husband buys a tool belt on the way home from work. And that I won’t yell at him when I should kiss him or walk away when I should stay; that I can call him mine even when he doesn’t deserve it and that he will love me even when I don’t. That we will be each other’s mediums and finished products and inspirations. That we will become artists together.

About Julia Blue

(Blog Team) married to a hunky Aussie cowboy carpenter farmer composer filmmaker, who has turned her world upside down (this is a good thing). For even more fun, she flies around the world serving snacks and drinks, checking that seat belts are fastened, occasionally providing medical attention and hoping to never be a firefighter.

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