creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gift Sharing

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Blessed Solstice, and all the many other splendid salutations out there! I thought it would be nice to share a seasonal gift with you: a bevy of beautiful images of the holiday window displays in NYC:

Such intricate works are rarely seen except at the posh stores like these in NYC along 5th, Park and Madison Ave, where all manner of designers and artists are hired to elevate their window images (and give reason for the extravagant expense of items inside). Displays like these propel window dressing to a high form of installation art, obviously taking months to plan and prepare their execution. Seeing them takes me back to my childhood and happy memories.

My family loved to visit “The House on the Rock”, a tourist attraction in Wisconsin. In addition to the original house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, are warehouses full of wonders, including a large assortment of antique mechanical jewelry store displays. We would spend hours pushing the buttons to activate and admire the little animated displays.

Taking photographs of my travels to share with family and friends also reminds me of cherished childhood times. I was definitely influenced by my mother, an avid documenter of family gatherings on her Super 8 motion camera. I loved watching the captured images flicker on the dining room wall to the hum of the projector’s motor and our laughter. I also looked forward to the slideshow presentations of exotic scuba diving vacations all over the world from my mother’s first cousin Russell. He’d set up a big projection screen at my grandparents’ farm. They were not events to be missed and I soaked up both the photos and his stories of those foreign worlds with wonder. I thank my mother and Russell for sharing their gifts and inspiring me along my path.

Joseph Campbell, the renowned mythologist and author, outlined the importance of sharing gifts as a common thread in all cultures and a key part of the Hero’s Journey. We all have personal Hero’s Journey’s to undergo, and as we move through life and overcome our various challenges, there are lessons learned and gifts received. Whether we choose to keep those treasures private or share it with others is up to us. We must weigh the price of sharing gifts; sometimes the gift or lesson isn’t well received by society or comes at great sacrifice. We can only discover by offering up the treasure, and seeing what happens next.

While the capitalistic machinery and businesses across the world need us to fuel the economy by shopping and spending, I hope that we all find time to share some more personal gifts with each other too – gifts that don’t come with a price tag or end up filling the trash cans with waste after the flurry of unwrapping is over, but gifts from our own personal journeys – that just may inspire others in ways we can never really know.

Blissings and love to all!


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