I have been thinking a lot lately about the creative life. Each day as I watch my children participate in creativity--writing stories, creating songs, making movies--and I think of all the projects I have going just now, I wonder why we have such a strong urge to create? I am pretty sure we don't stand alone in this great creative urge.
As my mother slowly dies, I have taken on completing quilts she has started but is unable to finish. The funny thing is that I am not much of a quilter, but something in me wants to see these projects completed. In the process of cutting and sewing, I am aware that my creative practice is about celebrating life, particularly my mother's life. It is a way for me to cherish her. I also see the bigger picture of who we are as mother and daughter and who we are as individuals part of humanity. Practicing creativity is then about making meaning of one's own life--a chance to understand and a chance to heal.
But creativity is also about beauty. Whether in design, in texture, in light, in the way words come together on a page, or in the way colours reveal beauty, the creative life allows us to catch beauty and participate in the great universal dance of creation. Often this dance is silent, but it powerfully reveals who we truly are. This revealing need not be so public. In fact, it is quite private, I think. There is a great peace in knowing who we are and the purpose we serve in this life. Once we've found that, we can just carry on, living life fully and without fuss.
Being creative is also a spiritual practice. The more I watch the creative process unfold in me and in my children, I am aware that it is indeed a mystical process. As I watch beauty take shape around me, words fail and it is the unspoken rush of emotions that make it mystical and outside what we know to be normal life. And yet, practicing creativity seems to be such a normal need. We need to eat, to move our bodies, and to sleep, but to live a fully balanced life, we need to create too.
Wondering what being creative means to you?