The second chapter of The Hidden Art of Homemaking is short, and titled “What is Hidden Art?” I love reading all the many women’s thoughts on this topic, which can be found in the links on Ordo Armoris where the discussion is taking place.
It’s a huge topic! Each human is a living and complex demonstration of creative powers, as is revealed by the uniqueness of each woman’s life as expressed in her contributions to these discussions. The stories, the photos on the Hidden Art Pinterest page, the glimpses into the families whose wives and mothers are taking time to share their creativity online in addition to the never-ending work they do in their homes….it’s all a glory to the Creator.
Obviously, art is hidden as long as you don’t see it. That seems a basic point of this discussion. For me, having children opened my eyes to the world in a new way, because I often thought of my babies as tiny foreigners who were themselves seeing things in this new “country” for the first time. It was fun being the tour guide, and it challenged me to look afresh at my environment.
Sometimes just pointing a camera at some everyday scene helps to reveal a pattern of beauty – or to preserve the art when there isn’t time for a quick sketch. My picture that I titled “Butter Art” so many years ago still makes me happy with its hominess, and it calls to mind the intangible kinds of creativity that I also brought to bear on the task of mothering my children, small “art” projects that took place in the kitchen, or the garden, or — the heart.
I’m still pondering the thoughts of my previous post on this inward kind of creativity, which the author I quoted says “begins with the ability to change — to change intentionally. Creativeness begins with the ability a being has…to become what he is not yet, to start at the point at which he was created and then grow into a fullness that he did not possess before…”
Might this not include the developing in us of the fruits of the Spirit, the love, joy, peace, kindness, longsuffering, etc. that are so essential to making a home? I know that Edith Schaeffer in the book under discussion is primarily dealing with outward, visual or sensory beauty. But what if we could “create” peace by our very presence, or transfer some of our own joy into our children’s hearts?
Mothers naturally do those kinds of things, and often it’s by the attitude they have while they are accomplishing practical works such as laundering the socks, changing them from stiff and smelly to soft and fresh. It all starts with something we are. The artistry of our God is not just something to imitate, but is His active work in us, with which we participate, and by which we become ourselves lights in the world.