Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Meaning of Life, Another Bold Exploration

Three women from my church stopped by to see if I needed anything. I told them that we were past the worst of it and are getting settled. Then they asked enthusiastically about what Dan and I were both working on. I excitedly told them about some of our many projects, shop placing, conceptual clothing, Dan's research and travel, my band, upcoming shows and painting ideas. One of the ladies then asked,"where in all of this do you two make money?", implying that this was the goal...make money. I raised one brow and said, "Dear Sister, this is about making art, making connections and rawk'n the world." Once in a while I remember that the way I equate success might not be the way the general population in my community does. I am pleased with that idea, it seems so noble.
Another thing I've been thinking about (while the gesso is drying on my panels, lest you think I'm distracted and not getting work done in the studio) is that the occupation of teaching is absolutely the most wonderful gift to mankind. I dare even say, it's a superior calling. Now, I'm not saying that everyone should quit their jobs and run to the nearest educational facility with application in hand. We need all kinds roles filled to make the world function. But is it okay for a man/woman to glide on through, simply providing food, clothing and shelter to those for whom they are responsible? Don't we all have a bigger/additional contribution worthy enough to give? Some just choose not to live up to their potential. Some might give their time to the trivial, superficial and unimportant. Sad really. It takes guts and hard work to put yourself out there and aim higher, whether it's in an occupation, an organized religion or in one's community. I'm not saying that art and education are the only worthy pastimes, and I acknowledge people have a responsibility to their dependents...but there is more to life than just that. There are so many ways to share yourself, bigger ways.

Back to teaching, I'm feeling so proud to come from a family of teachers: my dad, my aunt and uncle, my sister and of course the star of my life, Dan Barney. These people give. Money can't buy that. I have attended meetings with Dan the last two mornings at BYU and it filled me up with a passion for education. I do like the atmosphere, that vibe that comes from learning and sharing. I got to spend time this morning with some good friends, the Cutris. Ramona is returning full-time to BYU this fall and I think the world will be better for it. Now, not only does she get to inspire with her passion and wisdom at home, but she gets to extend that and enlighten many souls. Now my gesso is dry and I'm going back to work.
Comments welcome...
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pax said...

Ok, you're making a lot of sense! It's not all about money! And, I've think you've convinced me that I really need to just get that secondary teaching degree and get a job as a teacher. Because if you think I'm noble and wonderful, than my world is complete! I'm kidding (not about me teaching!). But seriously, I totally agree that life is meant to lived. I like what you said about not just "gliding" through. We all know that "Gliding" is not an Olympic sport. There's no reward for doing it well.

jennie said...

Sweet thoughts Hun. Let's get down to the nitty gritty. What's all this about a band? Are you singing, are you dancing, are you pantomiming? I must know more. (and, I thought I knew every nook and cranny of Geneva road. Where the heck is Merts?)

cassandra said...

Jennielee- You know that's so strange, Mert's Place is less than a mile from your house. I'd never seen it either, but when I did it was like a vision...the perfect filming location...and it was. I do plan on sharing soon, it's good stuff.

Katie Speed said...

Urm... thanks for posting about teachers. I happened to read it on the "first day of school" as I nervously decided a week ago to go back (after a few years of being finished with college) to get my teaching certificate. Thanks!
ps. I'm a former student and you rock, apparently in more ways than one.


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