Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday Expedition

Sunday, I went to church, very hopeful that somehow I could find some way to do some service and also make a friend.

When I walked into church, one of the nice ladies who I met in Relief Society came up and told me to sit next to her.  I was thrilled!

In Sunday school, the topic was Alma 32 and I quickly learned that the word for faith was "shinkou" and so I watched the teacher's hand gestures and notes on the board carefully and filled in the blanks.

Before Relief Society one sister came up to me to ask me what my hobbies are.  (Hobby by the way is such a funny word - everyone else learns it when learning English but we so rarely use it ourselves) I told her I liked to play the piano and she asked me to play for Relief Society because she indicated that she gets too nervous playing since she taught herself to play.  So I ended up at the piano and played the opening and closing hymns and then some practice hymn afterwards.  (I'm not sure what that was but they asked me to play so I did).  Afterwards, three people asked me to play for all the weeks following. I think they were glad to finally have something I could do to contribute.  I know I was certainly glad to have something to do to contribute.

When I left church, the nice sister from sacrament meeting was walking out when I was and told me that she and another sister were going to a museum to look at an exhibit of Andrew Wyeth.  Hadn't I heard of him?  They asked.  He's American.  Well, I hadn't heard of him.  They shook their heads at my ignorance for an obvious well-known and pretty much told me that I was going to join them on their excursion.  Wanting friends more than food (and since I had forgotten to eat breakfast, I was really wanting food) I decided to go along.

And I'm so glad I did!  It was so much fun.  For one, it was fascinating to view paintings and sketches of America in Japan and realize that everyone around me was looking at it through different eyes.  Second, his artwork is beautiful.  I kept hoping my artist friends had seen his work.  I can't even describe how complex his work was and yet how it still felt very raw and rough overall.  Third, it made me realize how artists work.  I always thought that artists (and authors) just had ideas in their heads and wrote them all out.  Of course, I knew it was work to get it there and it was long arduous process but I still felt that what they saw in their heads was ultimately what they were trying to achieve.  However, through this exhibit, I realized that work really is about learning a new technique, a new point of view.  The artist was learning through a process.  Maybe he had glimpses of what he wanted overall, but I don't think it was all just there waiting to be put down.
Wind from the Sea by Andrew Wyeth
Last of all, I loved having these two sisters in my ward to explain things to me and talk to me.  Even though I could only manage less than broken Japanese and they could only manage broken English, somehow we were able to communicate and to laugh and to enjoy each other's company.  It was a wonderful feeling.  After Andrew Wyeth's exhibit we went to a special collection of artwork from the Louvre.  I managed to get by by looking at all the French titles and translate them into my head.  It was a lot of fun to compare notes with what I thought the art was about with what my new friends would translate into English for me.

When we parted I was sad to see them leave but so so glad that I had somehow, without any effort on my part, made a friend.

1 comment:

  1. hey! i know that painting! i would never have remembered that artist's name, but i love him!