the urge to create
But what of creativity? I saw Cate Blanchett on the Charlie Rose show yesterday, and felt a sense of yearning when I heard her speak eloquently of the craft of acting. I spent time this week commiserating with college friends, and remembering the good old days when I felt that anything was possible, when art was alive and pulsing, when I used to sit up late at night and talk about writing. I remember my writing classes and the long hours I used to spend discussing writing and literature with my English professors. I remember how much time they poured into nurturing me. Now, I feel domesticated when it comes to the arts...I have nothing stirring me into greater creativity. I am mediocre. A spectator, as Kierkegaard would say. I miss writing so desperately, but I wonder if I still have anything to say. Words seem so old, so overused. It's all been said before. What can I possibly bring to the table that is new? But even in our digitized, cynical, loss-of-innocence, wonder-less world, artists still are sometimes capable of capturing out hearts. Sometimes they can still change us. And maybe sometimes all they can do is soften our heart to hear something that is true, something that we would not have otherwise heard.
Back to Kierkegaard. He criticized people that were spectators instead of getting out in the world and daring to make brave decisions. I am not a spectator when it comes to ministry, but I am sad to say that I have certainly been acting like one when it comes to art. Of course, there is good reason for this. An overload of classes tends to be an inspiration killer for creative writing. But so often, my gut reaction to life is to spectate instead of create art. To watch the glowing screen instead of putting new ideas, poetry, characters on paper. And yet, as I spectate, I am dissatisfied because there's an inner yearning to create.
I am starting to think that writing is like anything else though (including weight loss, faith, giving up booze, etc.): it's about impossible to do without a supportive community!