I think we all have an urge to create. Something. Somehow. In some way.
For me, I love to see the ways others have chosen words to tell the story of their hearts and eyes and time. How they sweat out the battle with the blank page until one of them gives in (let’s face it, we don’t always win). Then theyshare their own with us and we catch the glimmer of God-createdness in them. It all shines through.
I love the power of music, and the thrill of beauty. I love how God has chosen us to witness to his majesty and witness the creativity of his creations.
But then I wish creating weren’t so hard. Because it is. I would have written three or four books right now if it were easy. Luckily it is hard because the words I might have written by this point should probably percolate longer anywho.
And maybe I would have written at least one if I weren’t scared of my own failure. Because I want to finish what I start. And maybe I’m scared of what I might find out if I did venture further than a four hundred words or so down any given path.
And then there’s the work and time involved – a Little Red Hen worthy list of tasks to complete before and during any given project.
And it is always easier to consume the work of others than it is to do our own.
It is easier to pretend we can’t, and to instead numb out or zone out the majority of our lives while chasing down enjoyment without the fullfillment of purpose.
Creating is hard, but somewhere we must have it written in to our being and creating is essential. Because we keep coming back.
When I feel the need to create (or to enjoy the art of others’), it’s a longing for beauty, happiness, and wholeness that pulls me toward the work (or the reading).
It’s a restlessness with the way things are in search of what could be. Or maybe what we were created for:
“Our dissatisfaction could, therefore, be the admission and awakening of our longing for the eternal. Rather than being the edge of personal emptiness, it could be the first step in the opening up of our eternal belonging.”
“In terms of its creative side, desire is the quickening of heart that calls forth change.”
– John o’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us, p.24
I can create right here.
Right here in my imperfection. Right here in my lack of time. Right here in my not having all the answers. Right here with the legos under my feet and the laundry in ill-sorted piles of clean and dirty.
Right here is where I create because here is where my restlessness lives.
Creativity doesn’t live on that mountainside in Chile. It doesn’t live on my wedding day. It wasn’t at my graduation.Those were mountain tops, but mountaintops are where all the answers go to rest on their laurels for five minutes or so. Creativity thrives in questions, hope, impatience, dirt, limitations, sidelines, deadlines, children, and the real life in-between.
Here I paint walls and plant seeds. I write hopeful purpose and read wisdom. I run miles and chase toddlers. I eat chocolate and drink coffee. I organize toys and clean dishes on repeat. I get out watercolors and clean up the resulting puddles. I beautify spaces and simplify belongings.
I pursue creating dreams and live in my right here reality.
And I can embrace what is in the midst of creating what I hope for.
Because my longing for good and whole and joy is only an arrow that points to the love of God where good and whole and joy originated.
And it doesn’t really matter whether or not I create anything of note, as long as I realize that.
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