Sunday, December 13, 2015

Our creativity is not benign

Mercy Me
12 x 9 inches
Acrylic on stone paper

I left formal religion years ago. I don't believe God only resides in the four walls in a building and I don't believe God judges us by where or how we worship. 

This quote from the Gnostic Gospel seems appropriate on this Sunday;

If we bring forth what is within us, it will save us. If we do not bring forth what is within us, it will destroy us.                
Our creativity is not benign. When I heard Elizabeth Gilbert say that in a radio interview, it knocked me down with the truth of it.

These words are my gospel, my tabernacle of devotion. I believe we were all put here to leave a unique mark, one that can only be made by us.

When I have a difficult day in the studio, I want to open a bottle of wine and wallow in it. I want to numb my failure in a bath of alcohol. I don't do this, I just feel like doing it.

Before I recommitted myself to making art, I did drink too much. Weekends were the worst. All that time stretched out like an ocean with no land in sight. I would start in the afternoon and by evening the living took on a numbing haze. I was bored. That's the destructive force of creativity. When it's ignored or denied, it will find other ways to manifest. 

Okay, if you won't let me out, let's knock you out. 

Once I got back into making art, my thirst faded and as I grew more devoted to my passion my creativity served me once again. We are now in a partnership. I show up and do the work. I push past the lure of resistance and sometimes I'm rewarded by making something I really like. And it's enough to keep me coming back. And when inertia rears its head, I recognize it for what it is. I've pushed past it before and I'll push past it again and again and again. 

At a  workshop last summer, one of the instructors, Audrey Phillips turned to us and said, "no matter what happens in our lives, we will always have our art. We are so lucky to have that."

She's right. And since we have chosen to bring it forth, it nourishes us in ways food and drink never can. 

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