I have long believed that art is everywhere – and should be accessible to all. Apparently I am not alone – not by a long shot. In our town there is a growing community (about 6,000 at last count) of people who belong to a rock group. Though it sounds like a band (and I guess in a way it is) it is a collaboration of people who buy rocks and paint them, then post a picture of what they look like and hide them around town for others to find. Sometimes with a clue to the rock’s whereabouts.
The paintings range from lifelike airbrushing to smudged finger painting and everything in between with messages as simple as “smile” to complex slogans – and all are sent out with the intent to make another person’s day. The stories that they spawn are tearjerkers at times – a child who stormed off from a family outing feeling ostracized and reeling from bullying that had been going on at school, found a rock promising “it gets better” another story tells of a child finding one that read “you matter” and taking those words to heart.
Children aren’t the only ones in on the action, with pictures posted of grandmothers and great grandfathers getting out for the day around the lake or town in hopes of finding their own rock. I am not a painter or even particularly crafty but I believe in lifting others up and I love the idea of putting beauty out into the world to be appreciated by others and because of that I am willing to give it a try.
For the vast majority of my morning I have lost myself in a project I had shelved for a few months buoyed by a fresh set of ideas and a fire to stop talking about it and get closer to finishing it. Because it’s a creative endeavor I have let it sort of grow into itself and the story is nuanced and grittier than I set out for it to be. I wanted to write the blog before the kids came home from school so that I could ease into a little levity before they arrive, backpacks full of lollipops and treats from the Valentine’s card exchange.
I love the medium of storytelling and writing because it is where I find my flow, getting lost in characters that I never want to be or ones that I used to know. I suppose there is a very similar magic that happens, huddled over a painted rock, when a person maps out what they hope to cultivate in a finite space. Like plotlines and word counts and chapters, it has to follow some rules and yet those rules are all up to the imagination of the creator. I know that I personally found messages in between the binding of books pulled off the shelves at libraries and though they had varying messages played out from different styles they all had one thing in common – they were right there, out there and accessible to anyone who was looking for them. Art is like that.