Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Creating and Connecting

I've been thinking a lot lately about being creative and how creativity manifests itself in different ways in all of us. In my writing group last night we talked about creating. I would imagine .that like most groups that get together with a joint purpose, we are  no different. But since I don't have a lot of experience in group settings (I'm a lone ranger who lives for positive feedback) this group feels magical to me. It's ironic, I think, that right now I seem to be more comfortable with thinking about creating, than creating itself. 

[On another subject but maybe related my head doctor suggested today that I could be stuck in "avoidance" mode. Not sure of what, or of who. Letting go? Making changes? Accepting?  Perhaps by thinking about creating, I'm avoiding actually being creative. I think with my writing there is some truth to that. But that's another story (no pun intended.)]

I've heard it said before that we all have a song to sing, or a story to tell. I would go a step further and say I think we are all born with the spark of creativity in us. Perhaps as beings created in the image of God we are literally born to create - a song, a dance, a story, a painting, a marble sculpture, a grand meal, a cure for cancer, a perfect 10 off the balance beam, you name it. Each of us has within us a creative purpose. Maybe we don't know what it is. Maybe we know and (dare I say like me) are too afraid to tap into the wholeness of it. Maybe we get a taste of it and soar. Or maybe we get a taste of it and shy away. Regardless it's there. And the reason it is there is that when we own our creativity we touch others - on a heart level. And by doing that we produce joy, hope, trust, love and community. When we are in community we are reflections of the Divine Creator. Don't you know that S/He lets out a heavenly "YES" when someone gets it?  

I don't think this is an original metaphor, but it works for what I'm trying to say. Suppose that when God was creating mankind S/He was thinking of an orchestra. S/He made a few flutes, some violas and cellos, some trumpets, a couple tubas, some drums, a triangle and a bassoon. If you've ever been to the Symphony you know that in those moments before the the lights go down  there is a cacophonous sound coming from the stage. All the instruments are warming up, getting in tune. There is no harmony or balance. But you get a hint of what it might sound like when the first violin comes out, plays a note and the whole orchestra echos. Then the maestro comes out, taps his baton on the music stand, there is a moment of hesitation as each musician takes a breath and then together as one, the disharmony is vanished with the wave of a baton, the instruments connect and music happens.  

The metaphor can be extended to the oil paints on an artist's palette - blobs of red, and blue and green - but when blended a picture emerges. Or dancers on a Broadway stage, or words in a book or members of the USA hockey team from years ago. I think if we each seek, find and implement the spark of creativity we were given, then we can't help but add our "notes" to the Divine Symphony. 

I'm not usually so philosophical. I've been reading "Long Quiet Highway" by Natalie Goldberg - one of the best woman writers who writes about writing. The book is helping me process and validating the reasons I write. 

"Americans," writes Goldberg, " ... are so disconnected and isolated as individuals and as a country that one way to reconnect is to begin with a connection to ourselves. Writing is a way to connect with our own minds, to discover what we really think, see and feel, rather than what we think we should think, see and feel. When we write we begin to taste the texture of our own mind."  

Hard as it is sometimes for me to put sentences together that make sense, it is when I'm writing that I discover things about myself. And it is writing that connects me to others who may feel the same way, or think the same thing. 

My pal Terri St. Cloud posted this quote by Mark Nepo (Facing the Lion, Being the Lion) on her blog today:  
'It is not enough to recognize the larger order - we must love it.We must not just look at it, but appreciate it, move toward it with awe,and then, that awe emits its own gravity which pulls everything into view.It is a gravity that confirms our place in the Universe. This is whysincerity, curiosity, and gratitude are such strong, compelling tools ofthe heart, which when inhabited, bring us back into the web of lifewhere we can feel how everything is connected.' 

Creativity and connection seem to be the theme of the day. 

What do you think you were created to do? Are you a piccolo? The oregano in homemade spaghetti sauce? Or that  special, unique color in a box of 64 Crayolas that waits to be used as the finishing touch on a child's drawing? 

Wishing for you a spark to ignite your creativity.
Merry ME


terri said...

big smile on my face! wonderful blog! it's got me thinking about what i think i'm created to do....i think it might be 'to open'......and that actually makes me teary sitting here thinking about it. cause i've done a whole lotta closing the past couple of months and am just now starting to open again....

thanks for the blog, mar. it has me thinking.....beautiful post!

Marilyn said...

Love this post. How much we miss in life because we don't recognize that we're already connected, and then function as one in the universe. I plan to re-read this post now and then. Thank you, Mary