-By Jared Adamson-
Since my children were young, I’ve tried to teach them to share. It’s not easy. Maybe it’s human nature. Maybe it’s learned response. But regardless the cause, it’s hard, sometimes, to share. Except for colds. Those are passed around all too easily.
But I write today to share a moment (see what I did there?) about a moment of shared art.
My oldest son is a 5th grader this year. That means he is spreading his wings in many regards. He is forming his own opinions. He is challenging my authority. Basically, he’s becoming his own person. And that’s a good thing, no matter how hard it is on me.
I had been browsing upcoming shows on the DVR and ran across one from my childhood, which really was introduced to me by my dad as it predates me. Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson. I remembered the vibrant colors of the exotic animals and costumes. I remembered the adventure of pirates. I remembered elements of the family dynamic. Simply seeing the title on my television screen brought back a flood of wonderful memories.
So of course, my kids should be forced to watch it so I can relive my past, right?
Well, when I mentioned it, the 5th grader rolled his eyes at me. He’d never heard of it and it doesn’t have robots or animation or the like. But he is a good kid and remains respectful of me, so he humored me and agreed to watch.
And this is where the moment of shared art kicked in. I began to watch, not the movie, but my son watching the movie. Every moment that his eyes widened. Every time he forgot to breathe. Every laugh, chuckle, giggle and guffaw. Every motion, leaning forward in anticipation. Every time he snuggled closer to feel safe against the pirates in his own life. To me, it was better than Disney ever did.
As the final credits were rolling, we just sat there, as a family, and basked. No words were spoken and really, not even glances were exchanged. Then a deep breath and he peeled off to prepare for bed. But he looked up at me and simply said, “that was really good.” And I nodded silently in agreement, but for a different reason.
When we share art, it magnifies the power. A movie can be good, but when we share the experience, whether in a state-of-the-art theater or on our mismatched couch and loveseat, it can be great. Book clubs share stories. Musicians jam together. The community theatre community shares theatre. In 1624 John Donne wrote the famous words, “No man is an island…”; perhaps neither is art.
And if you happen to see my wife and I dancing in the aisle at the grocery store because “Could Not Ask for More” by Edwin McCain comes on, just move around us. We’re simply sharing our song.
Jared Adamson 10/12/2017
Jared Adamson is the Minister of Worship and Creative Arts at Centerville Christian Church in Centerville, IN. Studying voice, composition, organ and improv, he has a Bachelor of Music in Church Music with a double major in Bible and piano from Cincinnati Christian University where he later served as an adjunct professor in the music and worship department.