I was three credits away from finishing a studio arts degree at the University of Washington more than three decades ago when I quit. I felt passionless, of mediocre talent, and doubted the importance of art. It seemed superfluous.
Spirited women, this is my last post after six enjoyable months writing about creativity. I received gifts of clarity and inspiration from writing to you with this weekly focus. I cherish how this six-month meditation deepened my conviction of the centrality of creativity in our lives. As breath connects us to the living, so does creative expression.
In my first post, I recalled a fateful walk from ferry to car when the sight of a daffodil challenged my dismissal of beauty. A conversion occurred leading me to see how much I missed my creative self. This past half-year, I wrote of dance, painting, poetry, singing, cooking, even fashion design. Curiously, when I intentionally chose writing as the art form I would use to return to a creative life, I chose it not because I remembered success or even talent, but rather because I recalled feeling blissfully absorbed writing of all things, a research paper.
Being lost in our work is a fruit of focus, a sign that we can dance with creativity not only in the arts, but also in our work, home projects, and relationships. Matthew Fox, a famous priest and theologian, gives insight in his book Creativity-Where the Divine and the Human Meet. He quotes Plato saying, "Memory is the mother of the muses." Memory, mothers, and muses...now that's a powerful trinity.
One of the reasons I love teaching spiritual autobiography is because it helps people value their memories often leading to healing and gratitude. Fox points out that the word "muse" shares the same Greek root with the word "mysticism." Mysticism relates to entering mysteries and shutting off the senses. That blissful absorption we feel during a creative process opens us to both pleasurable rest and contact with a great intelligence, perhaps the divine flowing through us. Fox quotes Carl Jung, the renowned psychologist saying "creativity comes from the realm of the mothers." Fox suggests that we honor Divinity as the goddess, as Wisdom as Mother to invite the muses in.
Looking over my past blog posts, I am glad that I also connected creativity to physical exercise and primal wisdom. The indigenous peoples understood that their bodies and spirits connected to their earth-mother. We need this perspective today. Our creative source and outcome needs to intentionally circle around the honor of our bodies and creation itself.
I leave the privilege of blogging with Spirited Women to allow myself more time to focus on a book project that I hope will cultivate beauty and creativity. I say "a dieu" which translates "go with God." I wish you energy and blissful rest from absorption in a life of creativity.
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