It’s called the Sport of the Arts

photo by Darcie J. Gudger

This morning while I read through my Feedly collection of blogs, I found an incredible post by leadership and publishing industry guru, Michael Hyatt. It was an article titled Why You Need More Art in Your Life (and 5 ways to get it). 

Everyday I run into people who, after asking what I do for a living, look at me like I have a third nostril when I say, “I’m and author and also the color guard director at Evergreen High School.”

The ensuing conversation goes like this:

Jaw slack, head tilted, they ask, “What’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“Color guard.”

“Um,  you know marching band, right?”

“Yeah.”

“We are the ones who–”

“Oh! You guys run around and wave flags. Got it.” With a flick of the hand, Joe Q. Public turns away.

“Wait!” I grab his elbow, “It’s more than that… it’s… it’s…you know…”

He breaks away. His head moves from sided to side.

I stand there staring, wondering how I could explain something so complex in a succinct way someone with no exposure could understand.

Many of us have had this conversation.  And when we’re put on the spot, it’s really, really hard to articulate in a few words what we do.

I mean, I’ve had someone say to me, “You really need a coach for that? Flipping flags?”

Um. Yeah. We do.

Anyway, guard is more than the physical skills of flag, rifle, sabre, dance and performance. It is an art.

Therefore, what captivated me this morning, was how Mr. Hyatt defined art. In spite of the fact I am an author and words are my livelihood, I often fail to find the right ones at the right time. Hyatt’s definition brings clarity.

Art gives us meaning. These are things that cannot be understood with pure reason– like love and beauty, to name two. Art helps us understand our world… Art requires something of us. At the most basic level it can stir us to gratitude.

 Winter Guard International (WGI) describes color guard as the Sport of the Arts. Guard gives those of us who participate, a vehicle to understand the world we live in. A vehicle to understand ourselves. Things that can’t be explained by simple words.

Wow. Pretty cool, huh?

I’ve been asking guardlings I know and love, to write a guest post about the value of guard in their lives. The first guest post by Derek Hackett

It is awesome. See if you can find what Hyatt is talking about in Derek’s words.