Saturday, March 27, 2010

Calling (NFTD #12)

The concept of finding your calling is an interesting thing there is no hard and fast rule on how to figure out what yours is everyone has their own unique journey. Some find that they at three years old stumble into the thing that they want to spend the rest of their lives doing. For others they bumble down the road of life until one day after say their 70th birthday they experience a "ah-ha" moment and calling smacks them in the face (Grandma Moses). And for still others calling is something that either is too hard to find or not as important as their family or the next new sports car and pretty young twenty year old. There are also those who want so badly for their calling to be something other than it is.

Last night I watched the film "Coco before Channel", which is an interesting film in it's self but what struck me most about the film was that it was really the presents the woman who would become Coco Channel as one who really didn't want to make clothing or change the way women were with in the society. According to the director's commentary, she fought working with clothing because for Coco making clothing was what you did if you were poor, and yet this woman's gift was through the creations of clothing and the manipulation of cloth. And when she did finally step into her calling the world and women were forever marked and changed because of the out pouring effect of this calling. She is an example of what marked changes can happen when one lives into their calling.

Another less dramatic example of the path to calling is the Seattle musician Shane Tutmarc. When I first heard of him he was fronting the band Dolour, which was one of several indie rock bands from Seattle circa late 90's. Dolour was a good band and had some great songs but on the whole there was nothing super striking about them. But a few years ago Shane's new band Shane Tutmarc and the Traveling Mercies opened for someone I was seeing at the Tractor and I was blown away. This time he was playing alt-country/rock-a-billie. There was something in watching him play and the style of music that just whispered "Yes, this is what he was created to sing". To me watching Shane play that show was watching him live into his calling.

I think for those of us in the arts it is hard sometimes to live into our skills, what I mean by this is that we want to play someone else's role. Like say I am the drummer but I really want to be the lead singer or our band is a metal band but really we create musical poetry when we play alt-country/folk songs. I have a friend who is an incredible musician with a lovely voice yet I get so frustrated when he plays with his band because at shows he tries to be all "rock n' roll" screaming and yelling when those are not the skills he has been given, when he trusts him self and his gifting he is lovely to watch. It is hard to accept that you are not the leading man or woman as an actor but once you do I think that the doors are actually open wider. I find right now that I am bumbling through this quandary often these days attempting to figure out where I fit, because I don't want to be like my friend, trying to be something I am not because I think it is better than who I am.

These days I often find the thought floating through my head that I would be happy just to know what my calling is, that unique place where for me skills and talents and the world's need all converge together so I could stop thinking about it. But like everything else in life there is no calling fairy so I must wait until the stars align and God reveals the pattern to me, either that or I unstop my deaf ears and my blind eyes. Either way it will not be today, but maybe tomorrow.

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