In contemplating my most recent post, I am acutely aware of the fact that any conversation based on creativity can take us on many different paths—some direct and to the point—others crooked and winding and through the woods we go.
For instance, to create or be creative doesn’t have to be something we do but can rather be something we are or strive to be.
Some people never produce anything that can be listened to or hung on the wall, but use their creativity to problem solve at their job or avocation.
I am reminded of the book “Practicing the Presence of God” by Brother Andrew. In it he talks about his connection with God and the fact that he felt closer (read “more alive”) to God in the kitchen peeling potatoes than in his 8 by 10 room on his knees during the required daily devotional times at his monastery. Herein lies the rub: perhaps living out our faith in a moment by moment scenario is the most creative we can ever be. To be fully aware of the moment we are in and choosing to live in that supernatural realm with God, our lives a sacrifice to Him and to all those around us, is perhaps the greatest dance that will ever be seen on the earth.
And really, isn’t this what we have always aspired to—something that transcends our very flesh and blood, seventy years on this earth, mortality. At least for those of us who have chosen the Christian path to walk.
In the recent Marhta Graham dance company performance I alluded to already, a single female dancer performed one of Martha’s early dance/theatre pieces from the late thirty’s. It was called Lamentation and the featured dancer was alone on the stage, sitting on a plain wooden bench, covered from head to toes in an elastic, tube like, body stocking. All we could see was the painted white face of the dancer and her feet and partially her toes and hands. Then, to the sounds of some minimalistic piano playing, the dancer moved to and fro within the stocking creating a sense of a caterpillar trying to figure out what he/she was doing inside of the cocoon.
Watching this “dance” take place gave me the feeling of being pushed and pulled through a life we barely understand. I also got the picture of a person trying to figure a way out of this mortal coil and all the bizarre movements we make throughout our lives in trying to figure things out. A picture was also painted for me mentally of a culture trying to move from primitive to modern—the birthing, in labor-like jerks and convolutions giving me a picture of us collectively straining to make something better of ourselves.
Having said all that, I must admit that I have never felt like I have lived up to my potential, Christian or otherwise. I still get angry at times and live a somewhat semi-disciplined life that always seems to be reaching for something just beyond my grasp. Living a life at its creative best is almost like never using a credit card and getting into a debt that has to be paid off in monthly increments. I can see the wisdom in not buying something before I can afford it, but the pull of the world to purchase is a very strong pull indeed. And in working to pay off the debt, we become a slave to a system that only seems to reward those who follow the rules, pay their bills on time and we end up losing the energy to be creative.
I have probably lost you at this point. What I am trying to convey is a thought—no, a state of being—wherein we always think the best of one another—where we exercise patience, and approach every situation that life brings to us with wisdom and humility—where we lend and never borrow and no matter what happens we can say like the apostle Paul, “I have learned to be content in all things”.
This is not better living through chemistry or some sort of hyped up transcendental meditation or prosperity doctrine thing I am talking about. This is about a life that we learn to live in the center of a very creative father who only has plans to prosper us and not leave us as orphans.
Even though I haven’t made it yet, I still believe that this creative state of being is possible—a place where if our cake doesn’t take, we eat pudding we have made instead. The glass is always half-full instead of the other way around.