Humans, life, connecting with granite, expressions, and the soul of an evolving town

In the fall and spring, Goddard offers a granite workshop. Every since the first one I attended, I have wanted to go back. In this photo is a wide representation of artists in our hometown. Even now, when I run across someone from the workshop, we talk about those four days, the early mornings, learning to use a diamond cutter, the feel of granite dust, fabulous meals on a porch, blow torches, and our creations. And we talk about attending again, with that group. It was an interesting mix of views and lives, ages and backgrounds, incomes levels and education levels. I learned from each one. Some of my preconceived notions were not only challenged, but dismantled. I learned some of my childhood friends had really cool forward thinking moms. I learned that beneath a beautiful face can lay a complex personality. And that slow twange can mischeviously hide a diversely cultural soul, I learned youth can offer hope and wisdom, when you listen. and that women of all ages ooze a passion and wildness for life, when the world isn't around judging.

This is what art does to a community. It inspires, transforms, awakens, creates a passionate feeling. It tears down walls, speaks to the unspoken, renders the viewer mute in awe. Art is more than painting; it is bending metal into the fanciful figures that line the front of the Goddard Art Studio. It is a fire blazing as clay pots are fired up against an evening sky. It is the vibrant colors of a platform of political or social expression along a wall. Its is the plays and films brought to us by a brave cast of actors and actresses.

I heard that, not to long ago, there were a few folks who were upset that the Laramie Project was shown at Goddard, brought to us by Ardmore Little Theatre. I was suprised by this, although when it showed I was fully prepared to encounter protestors from the crazy zany folks from that Westboro Baptist Church. I wore boots and had a recorder. Having been in protests before, usually on the side that is going to "burn in hell" for one reason or another, I have found being prepared can mean many things, but as I have gotten older, peaceful protest is more my thing.

So I was prepared for people screaming in my face, for people stomping and waving signs saying horribly mean things. We arrived and the parking lots around the Goddard were protests. Just patrons. The play was phenomenal. I cried from the openning lines till the very end, from the stark contrast of barb wire against a blue dusk hued sky, the last image a young man saw as he waited for death to save him from what his fellow humans had done to him.

I heard later that some folks felt they couldn't support plays like that in our community. I wonder about our youth. I wonder about how a play that talks about hate and exclusion could prompt folks to do just that...exclude. I hope Goddard and the Ardmore Little Theatre continue to be a beacon for change and diversity, and I hope that you, our community support the efforts of love, hope, expression, peace, and community for all.

Just a day of our hometown.