Creating an Artistic and Spiritual Community
My past few days have been crazy. Pretty much every emotion has entered and left my body. Hence, the lack of posts for the past couple of days. Here is my story:
I spent all of Sunday in Nevada City, CA packaging up jewelry orders.
Sunday night, I got a call from the family I live with saying that the tenants below us have been fighting and one of the men broke through the front door in confrontation with another tenant. They called the cops and the cops had the man who broke through the door remain "off the premise." But the guy just ended up sleeping in his car outside of the apartment building.
The family I live with, the Stevens, were furious that the cops didn't get the guy farther away from there or arrested. So they decided it would be best for the family if they spent the next few nights in a hotel until the men are evicted and out of the apartment by tonight.
So I woke up at 4:15am yesterday to fly back to Seattle, knowing also that I couldn't really return home to my house. Kinda scary, kinda sucked. But oh well, I knew they would be out of the building soon and I would feel safe again. I obviously did not hangout at my house yesterday or spend the night there.
Today, my housemate momma friend, Karin, called me to tell me some big news about the apartment building. Her dad owns the building and their family has lived there for generations. Karin and Mike, the parents in the family I live with, have a vision for the building, that it could eventually become a space for artists and creatives to live in community and share creative spaces. The plan originally was to turn the big garage into a studio space for me and another artist to share. But once the men in the apartment started fighting a month ago, and Karin and Mike decided to evict them, they thought, hey we can turn the lower apartment into a living space for a few artists! The plan was then for me to eventually move down there with 2 other friends who are professional dancers in Karin's dance company, in the middle of the next year.
BUT, as of today, Karin and Mike have decided that it is time for their family to move out of the space and create a separate home for their family. They have 3 beautiful girls and hope to adopt in the future. So getting a bigger space for them is definitely a necessity. Also, it will give them a chance to really have their family space, but also feel connected and involved in turning our entire apartment building into an Artist Collective and creative working/living space! They hope to move out within the next few months. And I will stay in the space and live with at least 2 other folks for the few months after that while the downstairs apartment gets fixed up and the studio space gets established.
Long story short, having crazy tenants downstairs helped prompt the Stevens to realize both what their family needs in buying a new home, AND what the community of artists of Seattle need in another working/living community space. AND, man, this is exactly what I need. Exactly what I need.
My heart has been heavy for awhile, feeling as though I don't really have an artist community here in Seattle. I have scattered friends who are artists, but not a community. I have friends who respect and like what I make, but few who fully understand and speak that artistic language. I am a spiritual person, I believe in God, and really desire a community who can speak openly and respectfully about spirituality and faith as a group, as a collective. I want a community who speaks my artistic language and can speak freely and openly about spirituality and religion and how the two interact in Fine Art and simple living. I also am not interested in only talking about Christianity and Art, but all forms of religion and spirituality and how it inspires and interacts with all forms of art, from visual art, to dance, to music.
My views in faith and politics are very liberal, and I often feel like I must not even be Christian because my views feel so separate from mass Christian culture. I sometimes just feel straight up rejected by certain Christian community because of my views, and then also muffled and quieted in larger secular society, especially in the arts, because I do believe in God and spiritual questioning is a part of my artistic vocabulary, and sometimes I have positive things to say. I desire an open and loving community where two of the most important parts of my life can mingle and mix with others. I am so thankful for my boyfriend who I can talk freely with about religion, spirituality, art, whatever. Our views are similar, I just feel more of a need to associate myself with one strain of religious thought.
I am thankful for Karin, as a dancer, an artist, a friend, a Christian with a truly loving and understanding heart, an intellectual, a creative maker, doer, thinker, a protester against the wrongs she sees, a voice for women, for artists, for those who are lost, lonely, or saddened, an encourager, a woman who lifts others up with they need inspiration and strength. Community happens between two people. I have community in my relationship with my incredible boyfriend. I have community in my relationship with my dear friend and housemate Karin. But it is important to expand, hear many thoughts, converse, influence, and be influenced by those all around, not just one other person one on one all the time.
I am SO excited for the coming community I will be a part of. I am so excited to put a lot of time, work, and heart into creating an inviting and loving creative community with and for others. I am so excited for the inspiration I will receive and give. This is my greatest desire, and my greatest need right now. And I am so joyful that the Stevens can take an intense and hard situation of the tenants fighting below us, and use it for inspiration to fully transform the space. I am so happy to get to be a part of it. We have been through a lot as a family + Moorea in the past few months. But I truly believe that God has turned all things to good.
Good and bad wax and wain, but amidst it all, beautiful movements shine through and remind me that there is always redemption for what was once lost, and there is always opportunity to create something new.
In what ways have you seen a bad situation inspire good in your life lately?