The Art of Life
|Photography by Rick Stieve|
“You are the laboratory and every day an experiment. Go and find what is new and unexpected.”
I have tried to honor the singular explorer within by choosing something new to experience every decade of my life. I’m uncertain when I decided on this experiment, but I know that in my twenties I pursued marriage and teaching, in my thirties rearing children and becoming a woman of faith, in my forties being an active part of Young Life and Bible study ministries, beginning ballet ,and seriously focusing on writing, in my fifties traveling abroad, going on missions, and being on the Midwest Writers Committee planning all year for the summer workhsops, and in my sixties writing a book and learning to oil paint. These internal goals gave me impetus in summoning my energies toward one or two goals as well as learning to balance the art of living each day with joy and understanding of how much relationships affected the quality of my life.
I am at the end of this goal decade and have finished my book on integrating schools the first year of my marriage and teaching career. The years were 1967 and 1968. It has taken three concentrated years to find five of my students and some of the staff to interview and check that my memories were accurate and research the climate of the sixties. Three winters of focused writing and editing created my first book. This week after five to twenty edits on each chapter, I am finished! I have birthed an overdue baby. It was long and tedious, but I am ready to seek an agent and publisher. I have been brave enough to land at the end of what little I know. I feel like a fledging freshman turning in her first research paper. Because of this stretch, I breathe new air, understand that the Holy Spirit went with me every step of the way, and wonder what is possible for my future. Another experiment of practicing something new brings me wonder and life. For this I am grateful.