Monday, December 20, 2010

Appreciation takes practice

The Culture Club;
These ladies help me appreciate art.
(from left, Kristi and her daughter Lauren, me, Clove, Janna, and Anne at
Celebraciones de la Gente.)
   Mission:  Accomplished.

  After 17 weeks of my semester-long resolution, I have fulfilled my goal of attending one cultural event per week (and writing about it on Monday.)  In fact, I've taken that goal to the moon and back.

  On average, I attended 1.6 events per week this semester, for a total of 27 events.  This is in comparison to the statistics from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2008, 65% of Americans were unable to make it to a cultural event such as an art exhibit or performance even ONCE!

  And what have I learned?  I realized that getting to the events was the hardest part.  Once I was there, I was able to relax and get swept away by the music, or the art, or the theatre performance.  I also realized that music and art are great ways to break down the generation gap.  People of all ages were at these events.  They were easy to meet and they were always pretty happy.  (Perhaps being surrounded by beauty reminded people of their higher selves.)

  I also learned to look for the "sparkle." Sometimes it took persistence; I would have to come back to it again and again until I could find the things that sparkled just for me.  Just so you know, not everything in every performance was enthralling to me.  Sometimes I was tired, stressed out, frustrated, and completely unhappy to be there.  But if I kept reminding myself to listen, to watch and to feel for the moment of beauty, I would eventually find that clarity of recognition.  Because of this persistence, I became better at appreciation.

  And so, I think it has been worth it.  I'm appreciative.

  I think it's almost time for a new resolution.  Coming soon.  But first I'm going to hibernate for the winter break.


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