Nashville’s Own

Creating is holy. And don’t you and I know it…we feel it when we fear to sit down at the desk and take up the pen, when we tremble at the easel’s threshold. We know…we’re treading in something sacred; walking into an art that far precedes us.

Even at the moment of our birth as a human race, God put His hands in the dust to sculpt, and then breathed in His very own breath, lip to lip, to bring life to an otherwise lifeless form. We do it all over again in miniature when we take up the brush and make a visual home for a Truth that blew the walls off words; every time we pen a narrative that made our souls shiver; every time we wet our own hands in the clay. The work is hard, and it’s daring, and it requires something of us…  it’s holy. It’s also indigenous to being human. People create. Made in the image of God, we can’t help but do it. As if by magnetic charge, we’re led to the clay, to the paper, to the pen, to the word, and to the work. We till the field, and we sow the seed for reasons beyond those of sustenance. It’s something contained in our souls and bones that’s not complete until it’s moved the metal of earth’s material to forge something brand new; something all our own. Something that led us into the dance of creator and creation; to put our hands in the dirt and then whisper it alive with a blow of our own breath- mouth to mouth. Life (with a capital L)  is like that; like a torch that has to be kindled by touching. And so we touch things alive; words and art and crops and cars and whatever our creative medium is.

Nashville is a creative place. There’s something in the soul of this city that calls it forth in people. Shy little ambitions tend to come out roaring like lions when they’re kept in company, and that’s the wonderful zeitgeist of living in a creative town. More gets done. Better work gets done because the soldiers feed off one another’s resolve.

My friend, Andrew Yontz, is a creative whirlwind, an endless magician who works in the art of what-if-we’s that really do get done…and done with excellence. He’s a storyteller and a lover of beauty; an artful observer and a daring creator…and someone I deeply respect. About a year ago, Shayne and I were privileged to work with Andrew on a video shoot in which he filmed us creating several pieces for a Christian summer camp. But out of that experience, more was made than a video- an idea caught fire in Andrew. Today he’s unveiling his creation: a site that sets about the holy work of telling the stories of some of “Nashville’s Own”- it’s creators across a variety of media- art, photography, craft, even baking. It’s a series of very short documentary films. (about 5 minutes in length). They’re brilliant, beautiful, and inspiring. People are so interesting, and Andrew has managed to focus the lens in such a way that we see the soul. It’s breathtaking.

Shayne and I were extremely privileged to get the inaugural berth on Andrew’s new adventure. We’re so proud of our friend, and grateful to have had the experience of sharing in his story as he so beautifully and graciously told ours.

Here’s the site and video: http://nashvillesown.com

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photo by Nashville photographer: Susan Hudson

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