Mary and I have been traveling this past week. We drove past a business last night called Auto Spa.
“Do you think they give your car a massage?” I asked.
“I know a massage is supposed to be nice,” she replied, “but the thought of a stranger touching me bothers me.”
I’m with her. I had a pedicure once and even that bothered me. It was actually the whole experience. This foreign woman kneeling at my feet subserviently just felt wrong. I know that she was trying to make the ugly beautiful, and that in itself is a beautiful thing, but for me — no.
Hutchmoot is about creating beauty. In song. In written word. In visual art. In community.
And beauty is healing.
Being in the midst of beauty for a whole weekend is not unlike someone pumicing away some of the callouses that have built up — not on the feet, but on the heart.
It’s like relaxing into a warm bath with the most luxuriously scented bath salts — and feeling the whole experience take away the knots — not in weary muscles, but in a weary soul.
To go once a year and immerse myself in that has been a lifeline for me.
In 2013, we created something beautiful as a group.
Each person got a random square with some pre-drawn lines on it and a color palette for those lines. Some squares also asked the artist to write a word that had been meaningful to them that weekend. People creatively filled the square. Then, while we were in our last session, sharing and finally singing the Doxology, little elves were assembling those squares into a great picture.
Oh! The oohs and aahs when we walked out and saw it! We all signed the rabbit.
I had to scour Facebook to find a picture of the whole thing. I hope Jeremiah Lange doesn’t mind that I’m using this one that he posted.
And that, my friends, is about the best representation of Hutchmoot that I can think of.
It is visually beautiful.
It was created by a community.
The act of creating it was healing.