Have you ever seen music? I mean really SEEN it. I’m not talking about musical notes on a page, or even someone playing an instrument. Let me explain. My friend Sue is a sign language interpreter, and the other night I was at a concert in a church, and she was interpreting. There were times when I found it hard to decide whether to focus my attention on the performers or Sue. She not only has a way of translating the lyrics sung by the artist into hand gestures, but she somehow captures the essence and feeling of the music into her signing as well. She is so graceful and expressive, it’s really amazing. And it’s hard to explain unless you’ve seen it. Watching her, I was struck at how she had taken this normally quite functional task of translation, and turned it into an art form. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long while. Knowing Sue, I know that signing is a deep passion for her, and it radiates from her when she does it. It made me think, as I am prone to do from time to time, that we all have some sort of passion, a piece of God, that is begging to be let out. It’s bouncing around in there, waiting for our permission to just release it. When we do, it’s a beautiful thing; it’s like a whisper from God to the world. Lately in my work on Kim & Jason, I have begun to sense a weird phenomenon in myself. It’s not only occurring in the strips, but on a bunch of new greeting card designs I’m working on. I sense they are becoming more personal. Obviously, there is a lot of personal ideology and experience that goes into my work, but it hasn’t been overly conscious. I’ve been more focused over the past years on honing my skills and concentrating on the level of technical quality. For some reason, I’m becoming more and more aware and thoughtful of the writing and the messages, and I’m actually thinking about what I’m trying to say – really say. The weird thing is, the words aren’t really coming from me. Watching Sue reminded me that it’s not so much what I want to say, but what God wants to say through me. I just hope I can allow it to sound as good as Sue’s signing.
- - - | written by Jason on | - - -
I can totally relate to the music within. Since I was about four years old, I started taking dance lessons. This began as a great way for my parents (at least in mind) to prevent me from being so clumsy. This weekly exercise became an obsession for me to the point that four nights a week for at least 3 hours a night, I would be at the dance studio taking lessons. From there, I did Pompoms in high school and then I decided to learn more in college.
In college, I was able to learn contemporary dance and choreography and use the ballet, tap, jazz, and point technical moves that I learned growing up. Through this, I was able to tap into my ability to express what I was feeling within me and express a thought, story, or event.
To this day, the sight/thought of an open room with nothing but a boom box and a mirror or two, makes me itch to take off my shoes and socks and dance around the room like as if no one is looking. I haven’t had the chance to dance like that in many years, but the “music” still lives on within me.