Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Junkies and Songs and Lessons in Perspective

Living in the city has it's benefits and drawbacks. A benefit and drawback all in one is the close proximity of, well, everything. Sunday was a warm day -I woke up hot and stifled from blazing humidity.

It was a nice day but too hot to be in a church sanctuary. I dropped the kids off at Sunday School and headed across the street for a pick-me-up at Starbucks: my double skim latte. Sweet wakefulness in a paper cup!

Walking back toward church I noticed that Starbuck's outdoor patio was pretty empty as was the one of the restaurant next to it. One thing that is awesome about our church NOT having an air conditioned sanctuary is that they have all the windows open. This means that the community song of the worship service floats and wanders all over the streets of Chicago. I love this effect. I encourage you all to take a break from the sanctuary during worship and have a seat at Starbuck's outdoor cafe. And Listen. Smell the air, view the sites, drink a fav beverage.

While sitting with my cup-of-ambition, I pulled out my sketch pad (which I carry with me everywhere). I drew the parking meter right in front of me, a portion of the patio umbrella. Boring! But good exercise. Then I started working on perspective practice and sketched out the street scene.

While sketching out the street scene I noticed a man coming out of the alley and around to the side of an adjacent apartment building. The man was rail thin, wore a scarf around his head, Lynard-Skynard style, and had tiny red dots all over his arms. This was all from a small distance so the detail wasn't crystal clear. Having been outdoors painting the entire weekend, I thought they could be mosquito bites. I'm such an optimist. Then the city chick in me kicked in and I realized, they had to be track marks. In a rather lovely, but not obnoxious sing-songy voice he was calling up to someone's apartment window. Kind of waking them up (this was about 10:30am - time for the morning hit). He wasn't scarey or loud. He was rather pleasant. Hey, manipulation 101 (or marketing 101, you choose, hehe)

Literally on one side of the street there is a church service in progress. People praising Jesus, quite beautifully, in song. Across the street, is another song being sung.; a junkie waking up a drug dealer. Interesting cosmic perspective to think that maybe (not all people) are singing for the same reasons. To connect with something that makes them feel good. I , personally, think worship songs are praise to God. But I KNOW that people take refuge in singing them. A comfort for weary hearts. It's the intent that matters, right?

Across the alley, on the junkie's side, is a woman, skipping church, drawing and sipping coffee. On the junkie's side of the road. Where was my song? Regardless, I like to think that the church music influenced the "wake up style" of the skinny man. We'll never know. Or perhaps we will... maybe he'll walk into church for Coffee Connection and I'll show him my sketch.

BTW - I'm not very good at drawing people, but I want to be. It's been said, "if you can draw a person, you can draw anything". So I'm working it. Need to get to classes too. I'll get there someday.

3 explorers in an expanding universe:

Beck said...

After posting my sketch, I noticed the perspective is off. Add that to the philosophical mix...!

Lola said...

Very interesting observations, Beck. This has given me something to think about, for sure. And don't think I haven't considered sitting outside at Starbucks during worship since I, too, enjoy hearing the music wafting through the city streets...

Roxanne said...

This makes me miss you, FF, and Chicago too much :) thanks for sharing dear friend