August 9, 2010
Dave and I just returned from Nashville, where we attended Hutchmoot 2010. My mind is full and my heart is warmed and I want to capture some of my initial thoughts before they fly away.
1. The company was awesome. There were about 100 of us, and I didn’t get a chance to meet everyone, but everyone I did meet was warm and interesting and a pleasure to talk with. My fears about feeling awkward or out-of-place were unfounded. It was a warm, gracious community of thoughtful Christians committed to Story and Art and Truth.
2. The literary sessions were satisfying. To hear people talk in glowing terms about some of my favorite authors (George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Walt Wangerin) felt like my inner nerd’s dream come true. I don’t often think about how few people in my day-to-day life share my interest and enthusiasm for these authors, but, oh! was it delightful to be amongst fellow fans who “get it.”
3. The authors and musicians there were wonderfully real people. Andrew Peterson, Andrew Osenga, Andy Gullahorn, Jill Phillips, Jason Grey, Ron Block, Pete Peterson, Jonathan Rogers, Eric Peters, Randall Goodgame. Some of their work was familiar to me, some not so much, but I frequently tend to be intimidated and “star struck” by famous people. Not here. These people are real, honest, vulnerable, approachable, humble, willing to confess confusion and weakness and insecurity. And also willing to share their talents to inspire and encourage fellow Christ-followers.
4. The food was phenomenal. Evie Coates catered the whole thing. I have to confess, I was skeptical that home-made food for such a large number of people would be anywhere near edible. Boy was I wrong! This was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life! Some things I took little samples of to be polite, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I did not try anything I didn’t like. Mmmmm…. my mouth is watering just thinking of the burritos, rice salad, gazpacho, morrocan spice chicken, sweet potatoes, tomato relish, desserts….
5. The music! Andrew Peterson’s Counting Stars release concert on Friday night was so fun. To see him live, to hear the stories behind the songs, to watch the banter and camaraderie between the musicians. All was delightful. The second night, the Square Peg Alliance concert was a totally different feeling concert, but wonderful and moving.
6. The keynote speaker. Walter Wangerin. Wow, was it more inspiring and interesting than I would have guessed. He gave tips for being writers and “shapers” of stories, for being “pilers onto piles” and “heapers onto heaps.” He wove his own stories into the “lecture,” illustrating what he meant so seamlessly. I’m still digesting many of the things he said, and have some thoughts planted like seeds in my mind. I intend to give them water and sunlight and see what grows!
7. Nashville itself. Beautiful. Green. Lush. Trees everywhere! Heat and humidity. It just felt like a different world, and it reminded me how nice it is to travel and get away from normal routine.
Wow. Can you tell I’m on a “high” right now? I’m ignoring the unpacking, laundry, and cleaning up I need to do so I can just rest in the memory of the Hutchmoot. I love my life, and I feel all charged up for doing what I do – mothering and homemaking and a few little creative ventures here and there.
And I can’t wait for Hutchmoot 2011.