"Creating is the act of paying attention to our experiences and connecting the dots so we can learn more about ourselves and the world around us." Brene Brown, Rising Strong
This whole creativity thing works like the Fight Club. There's a battle our own self-rejection and creative acrobatics. We have extensive inner dialogs, working out the intricacies of a good/bad idea. It's all mush. It can get ugly. But OH the glory that comes when something comes to life. OH the glory. This is why we are in the fight.
Brene, the one who is changing our culture, has much to say about creatives and the arena. If you love Brene Brown, creativity, or self-understanding, this is for you.
People are moved to wonder by mountain peaks, by vast waves of the sea, by broad waterfall on rivers, by the all-embracing extent of the ocean, by the revolutions of the stars. But in themselves they are uninterested. --St. Augustine
There is a deep place in my soul for those things that move me to wonder, that call out from a bigger Existence—the Greater Than. I've never truly felt that I had eyes to see or ears to hear, but I long for my senses to reach past the stillness and silence and detect a small whisper of a Something.
Do you know this feeling? This deep wanting, waiting, watching?
I can see It and hear It most clearly when I am taking in those mountain peaks and vast waves and broad waterfalls. These things speak such a strong language of Createdness to me. It all works. It all dances together. How else than by some Plan?
I'm not the only one drawn to such a wonder.
“The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb- time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.” ~John O'Donohue
The atmosphere, the earth, the water and the water cycle - those things are good gifts. The ecosystems, the ecosphere, those are good gifts. We have to regard them as gifts because we couldn't make them. We have to regard them as good gifts because we couldn't live without them. ~Wendell Berry
Some part of my soul relaxes when I see the “universe of nature”, and I’m reminded that it doesn’t need to be much, or for very long, or even very far before nature touches me. ~SARK
"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." ~John Muir
"Whatever peace I know rests in the natural world." ~May Sarton
"The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is."~ Jack Kerouac
This kind of seeing, hearing, and touching can only come from a stillness of heart. I am learning that. I am learning to quiet myself enough that my soul has a moment to wonder.
And in all that wonder, a light flicks on in me. A yearning to put that light into something that others can see and take in.
This is the call for you and for me: To receive what we've been given then pass it along, compelled by our own abundance and gratitude.
Have you "wondered" lately? Have you heard and seen and felt? Have you allowed yourself to sense some other Bigness? Have you taken in your abundance lately in order to share it, passing it along like loaves and fishes?
If not, I challenge you to be moved to wonder. To come to the place of open-heartedness and receive what the world has to give you. Take it all in, what is coming and what is already there. And then pass along as much as you can.
This is the call to life. This is the call to creativity. This is the call to stewardship.
Here we go: Brace yourself for my top-secret secret method to ensure a Happy Holiday season.
Are you ready?
I can’t believe I’m going to share this secret.
I use the holidays as an excuse to do less.
I know. You think I’m nuts, right? How is this possible when the Holidays are all manic with shopping and parties and gifts and decorations and fudge-making and cookie-eating and Tacky-Christmas-Sweater-Wearing?
Here’s the trick: Since the Holidays are so “busy,” it’s really easy to say “Well, I just can’t do that right now. It’s the Holidays and you know how crazy things are this time of year.”
The end of the year is a great stretch of time to do some thinking. And writing. And musing. And secret quiet creating. So, I give you permission (nay, I encourage you!) to pull back as well. Create some space. Let yourself take a deep breath for a minute.
Because the Holidays don't have to be manic. They can be reflective and restful and relational.
So, y’all try to stay on the “Nice” list in the next month or so. Thanks for reading. And thanks for understanding when I say “It’s the Holidays.” ;)
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"Artists have no choice but to express their lives. They have only, and that not always, a choice of process. This process does not change the essential content of their work in art, which can only be their life." from Anne Truitt's Daybook
With all the landscapes and natural subjects in my work, it's clear that I love nature in its purist form. With that in mind, I'm beginning a new series that places the man-made against the natural. One of the pieces will feature a beach-scape with faint sketches of a cityscape on top of it… It would be powerful to fill the structures with dialog, symbolic of the people-noises that can drown out the purity of nature's voice. Could I enlist your help in collecting a chunk of chatter to include? If you're in a coffee shop, at a meeting, listening to the radio, or can record/annotate a few minutes of dialog, please send it my way. And, also, mention note your city/location. I'm thinking about incorporating a list of source locations; let's give this piece a "far-reaching" feel.