Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

My answer to that question has become one of the most commented-on parts of Life After Art.  So many people who read the book want to talk about how I dismantle that oft-repeated phrase.

I believe beauty is everywhere.  It’s not up to us to decide that beauty is here or it is there.  Beauty just is, and we are lucky if we have eyes to see.

So, what is keeping you from seeing the beauty around you?

Some of us are focused on some big problems today. Or our hearts or spirits are broken.

But others among us have just closed our eyes.  It’s easy for us to delight in being negative.  It’s seems more important to complain, to find fault, to criticize.  I’ve spent years like that.  And I caution you: your eyes will become calloused until you can only see what you are looking for.

Get your vision checked.  Beauty is everywhere.

Beauty is Everywhere - Life After Art

I love this guy, Tim.TimsPlace

Last week, this story came to my attention.  It only has a million or so views, so there’s a good chance you haven’t seen it.  It’s well worth your three minutes.  I’ve linked up to it at the end of this post.

The long and short of it is that when Tim was a teenager, he dreamed of owning his own restaurant.  And now he does.  His restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and…hugs.  Hugs are free, but you have to order one, and they are all delivered by Tim himself.

Oh, by the way, Tim has Down’s Syndrome.

I love Tim’s story, because it proves so fantastically the truth that I try to convince my students – and myself – of every day, the truth of the value of our work, and finding our calling.

This is what Tim’s story tells me: Continue Reading…

It’s easy to focus on the dark, the grim, the ugly parts of the world.

I’m sure at some point in time this week, our attention will be diverted to some kind of ugliness, giving us the opportunity to be cynical, to argue, or just consider giving up.  We will want to accuse, to point fingers and dish out the blame for the ugliness we have created.

But that’s not how I’m starting my week.

Because beauty is everywhere.  It’s a real, tangible force in nature that cannot be overcome by ugliness.  And the beauty-makers of the world are not obsessing over ugliness.

If only we have eyes to see the beauty around us this week.  My God, if she had eyes to see it, then we are truly desperate if we do not…

Anne Frank #LifeAfterArt

Go find some beauty today and be glad.

Happy end of the week!  I hope it’s been a good one for you.  I’ve actually been spending too much time at school – painting my classroom.  That’s the double-edged sword of a small, private organization.  We get lots of creative freedom to do as we wish.  But if you want something done, you’d better be prepared to get your hands dirty.

It’s time to share a few things that pumped me up over the last few days.

Find Life After Art on Simple Mom

Today, Life After Art is being featured on Tsh Oxenreider’s Simple Mom.  I’m so honored and blown away by that.  She’s giving away ten copies, so if you never grabbed the book (or you did grab the book, but you hated it and now want to protect some other unwitting person from reading it), head over there.  Her giveaway ends today.

Continue Reading…

Charles Darwin, long the bane of evangelicalism, the author of Origin of Species.survival_of_fittest_02

Evolutionary theory has always been hotly debated.  It’s existence in science classes is seen as an affront and attack on Creationism and Bible-believing Christians.  Every fish with legs is personal insult to Christians.  Charles Darwin might as well be satan himself to Six Day Creationists, his theories conceived in the dark bowels of hell.

But for all of the scientific discussions, all of the angry protestations to the contrary, it is clear to me that while we may publicly decry Darwin, we secretly love him.

What has come to my attention is that while there are plenty of Christians who denounce Darwin in their beliefs, everything about our society, our culture, our churches demonstrate the opposite.  Jesus might be nice, but Darwin is our real teacher.

There’s nothing left to do but own up to it:

our Darwinian Christianity.  Continue Reading…

You know, we have all week to be cynical, to argue, to debate, to despair.

And Mondays are tough enough already, aren’t they?

As I get back into my regular posting schedule, I’ve decided to try a few new things with the blog for the time being.  This is one of them.  I’ve been so pleased with the response I’ve had from Life After Art.  People tell me how encouraging the book is.  But it’s easy even for me to forget the lessons that I wrote.  

So I’m starting out the week with this - creative inspiration.  Short blurbs from creative people (or sometimes from myself), something in the spirit of Life After Art, something to juice you up for the week ahead and share with others.

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Life’s not all about growing up and being an “adult.”