Joyful and carefree creativity

By using a handmade cardboard tool and a few strips of leather, Ashton learnt to knot a leather bracelet in a short space of time.

The places and ways in which we experience God are diverse from the mundane to the miraculous; for me it’s in the wonder of human resilience, hope and sheer enjoyment in life. Late on Sunday night I was woken from a deep sleep by a sound I couldn’t quite place. Eventually I realised that it sounded like a band. I stumbled out of bed and onto the balcony; there in the dark I saw movement. It was indeed a band, a dancing, moving band of people from little toddlers to older folks, playing a range of musical instruments, joyfully moving through the neighbourhood. It was a lovely sight. In that moment I thought of God, I saw God in the joyful, carefree movements of these people giving their neighbours a beautiful gift, albeit at an unorthodox time.

Tsidi who is responsible for much of the [needle] craft work available at African Image, corner Church and Burg Streets, has gifted our community with her ability to craft. She and I meet with the youth on Friday afternoons to create; and as we work together we find the ability to see beyond our self-limitation and into the potential of creating something from nothing. The “I cant’s” are gradually replaced by a product made by our hands, imagination and shared knowledge.

Together we gain the skills to create something to gift, sell or keep. We learn to see beyond the old bicycle tyre, string, plastic bottle or newspaper and see something which can be used to sustain us or benefit another. The mundane becomes functional, useful, maybe even beautiful — new life is breathed into the item and indeed into the maker. Tsidi says that she finds God in the spaces she creates in her life through craft. Whether we experience God in others, in creation, in creating, in the mundane or the miraculous, our experience is unique, ready to be shared and gifted into our communities.

Peace, Sarah (Youth Co-ordinator)

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