I have spent some time teaching small children. It seems to me that the younger someone may be, the more likely one is to raise their hand to the question, “Who in this room is an artist?” As a child, there is little to loose in being creative. As we socialize, we find that we are urged to conform to “standards” and begin to loose our individual viewpoint. We are processed and homogenized into thinking similarly. I think that in chasing after the “American Dream” we have collectively lost sight of creativity, and passion to create, which was placed within us by the Creator.
As a creator myself, an artist, I value the wonders of God’s creation. When I slow down, I notice that there are many things that are often overlooked. There are many things that seem insignificant. Some think it odd that I find such joy in simple ordinary things. Such as the way the crows journey each dawn to their day, across the hills and beyond… I have stood on opposite hills from their flight, watching them gather from all points of the compass, to line up in their sky-path returning at dusk to roost in hidden trees in the hills for the night. I have a dream to document their journey in film one day. They are a peculiar bird that I find fascinating.
I have sometimes challenged others to pause for a short moment in their daily grind, and take notice of something that they do not normally see. Perhaps to look at a small “flower” that is among the weeds… Maybe a lone leaf that falls from a winter Aspen tree, maybe the way a mother lovingly holds the hand of her 2 year-old at the mall. Creativity is to discover what you would not otherwise see.
I remember something that happened to me at the mall a long time ago. It was a day that I received a gift from somewhere beyond me. The gift was a heightened sense of awareness. I was eager to experience it before it faded away- — Like an enhanced sense of touch; it seemed to bring everything closer. I sat on a bench and watched a mother walking by holding an infant and could feel the thick love that the child had for her mother. I walked into a kid’s toy store (Imaginarium) and went through the too-small-for-grown-ups door like I was Alice chasing the rabbit into Wonderland. The simplest of toys brought such amusement to me, it was like being 8 years old again. In this short wrinkle of time, the folds of the universe had come closer for me to observe. I departed the toy store and continued my journey of sights and sound that rippled with life unaware.
I approached the escalator near the exit and I saw that a crowd was beginning to gather. At the bottom of the stairs, a woman in her 70s or beyond laid on her back. She had collapsed and fell down the last few stairs. Her shin was bloody from the fall. I had taken CPR as a lifeguard a few summers before, so I came closer. I was held back from a rent-a-cop who told us that the paramedics were on their way. Astonished that they were going to do nothing for her, I backed away and began to pray. I prayed that her life would be extended. I prayed that the help she needed would arrive soon. I prayed for her soul. Then she opened her eyes. She did not look around, she turned her head and looked right at me. She spoke in words that were for no one but me alone; “I will be fine”, as if to say, “thanks for your prayers, but none are needed now”. She died that day. I lived that day as I watched her leave for the invisible Imaginarium beyond.
Some may think that the thought of being creative is something that you either are… or aren’t. You’ve “got it” or you don’t! I am not really sure when in my life that I began to believe that I “got it,” but both my parents and my grandmother, from an early age, encouraged creativity. I think that we are all created to be creative. The first gift we receive from the Creator is life itself. In the first moments outside of out mother’s womb, we began the wonderful and sometimes terrifying journey of discovery. I think that the power of creativity is in continuing that journey to discover how far the rabbit hole is.
He came to me in silence – The Unknown One
Not in a rush of wind that blew me over with experience
But in a gentle breeze that softly spoke to me through the trees
Here’s to gentle breezes and chasing rabbits.