Making Art in 2013

Tonight Neil Gaiman’s New Year wishes are making their rounds again. Every few years he writes a new wish (all of which are collected here) for his readers in the coming year. There’s no new wish tonight but his older ones bear repeating. This one has been sticking with me tonight:

I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

Looking back over 2013, I did read quite a few fine books, and some not-so-fine ones as well: grad school will do that to you. I spent the bulk of 2013 reading and writing and trying to make sense of what I was learning, in two difficult semesters that pushed me to more clearly define my work and my voice. I spent the first semester immersed in the Christian story, and the second semester immersed in interreligious studies – learning how other religious stories intersect and collide with mine. 

This year I also made art – in the broadest sense: I wrote and created plenty of things of my own. I’m not sure if it was good art, of course. I sang in a requiem; I performed in a short play; and, most exciting for me this year, I got to create in new forms that I’ve never tried before: eucharistic prayers, short films, TED talks, speeches, sermons, and a full-length thesis manuscript that is, as of this writing, almost complete. Not to mention blog posts here and at State of Formation.

2013-11-27 14.28.18

And I kissed someone who thinks I’m wonderful, who sadly is hard at work several states away this New Year’s Eve. It was a good year for adventures together, including our trip to Vegas and the red rock hills of Nevada.

I’m not sure exactly what 2014 holds – it will be the year that the grad school journey ends and something new begins. I hope to keep making good art, and sharing it with others – and seeking out the places where things are being made new.

So I too hope – for myself and for you – to be surprised in the coming year. Surprised by beauty and by art and by adventure.

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