Posted in Costa Rica

House of the Dreamer, cont.

It’s entirely possible some would give the place a once-over and decide to stay in the car.  Perhaps they’d think I am too easily impressed.  I, however, believe there’s beauty in the unpretentious.  I don’t need to walk into a spacious, air-conditioned studio to see art worth appreciating.  This artist used the resources available (in his case, lots of coffee wood) in his area and never once set foot in a gigantic Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, yet was 100 times more productive than most people who spend way over $100 on supplies for a new hobby they may end up growing weary of shortly after.  He took the inanimate, natural form of wood and shaped it into hundreds of people, campesinos mostly, that he either knew or imagined who looked just as full of life as the people that inspired the carvings.  Looking at the carvings’ faces, I would venture to say he really loved his work; that’s why, though it’s true it provided an income for him, I believe his work is art for art’s sake.  He just wanted to create, and to do so, must pay the bills.  I don’t think someone who didn’t enjoy carving would have etched the Last Supper on the walls of their workplace, do you?
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Posted in Costa Rica

Looking back…to the future

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“The House of the Dreamer,” the sign said in Spanish, hanging down from a plant-covered tree. I hadn’t even gone inside the crazy little structure, but I was already awestruck by it–really, what it embodied: bold, whimsical, lovely creativity. Art for art’s sake.

A scrappy little dog came out to greet us as we stepped out of the green SUV, two rubias come to admire the “galeria de arte”, as another hand-carved sign called it. Some might have called it humble, but I was made speechless by the place. Stepping inside a room lit by scattered rays of light from the sun outside, we gazed at rows upon rows of hand-carved campesinos and Christ-like faces made from coffeewood. I had difficulty picking out the carving I liked best, but finally found one I prized above the others to give as a gift to my dad, who is probably responsible for my love of Spanish and Latin America (as his job took us to Panama for three years until 1999).

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Today I was attempting to upload some photos to York where I can usually get some good deals for digital photo printing, but I am computer-skills-challenged and was having issues with the whole thing. So I started clicking through photos from years past instead of uploading more recent ones. Specifically, photos from 2009, when I spent a month in Costa Rica. This was pre-marriage, pre-baby Aim days. I volunteered at a missionary language training school working with the little ones of missionaries or being a teacher’s aide while living with a few teachers and hanging out with some others. I can’t say that I was totally immersed in the whole awesome experience, because there was this sweet, cute boyfriend waiting at home for me that kept distracting me…Looking back at the photos, though, I relived it all with a greater appreciation. The photos represent a time when I was just living to enjoy it all –my love for the Spanish language, for Latin America, nature, and adventure. I am so thankful I was able to bring back vivid images, as my mind had failed me and I had already forgotten the beauty and wonder of that month.

Tonight, as I sit here typing instead of going to bed at a decent hour like a smart, sleep-deprived mommy ought to, I consider what life was like before a family. Was it more exciting? Was it full of more opportunities? Would I be happier traveling the world again without a care?

No. That was then, and it was great while it lasted. But this is my life now. And I LOVE watching my 8 month-old discovering new things. THAT is exciting. What better opportunity do I have to make an impact than in the life of my child? Traveling “without a care” would really mean that I wouldn’t have a chubby, cuddly baby wanting me to hold his hands while he eagerly learns to walk, or a devoted husband to hug whenever I felt like it. So when I start thinking about how someone I know gets to go on a trip to somewhere exotic, I don’t feel sorry for myself (even if I DO still get up way early in the morning to feed the kiddo). I feel blessed I’ve got some great memories to travel to any time I want (and it doesn’t cost me a cent!)

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