When creativity wanes (or: when all you see and feel is dark, swirling nothingness)

When I think of creativity, I cannot help but go immediately to Genesis 1 and the Creation Story. It doesn’t matter (at least to me) whether you believe it literally, figuratively, mythically, archetypally, or at all. That’s not the point. It’s a gorgeous story that gives us imagery, license, and blessing to go forth and do the same: to create with wild abandon and call it good!

It’s the beginning of all that is. Only nothingness exists. Things are formless and empty. Sound familiar? And darkness hovers. Even remotely close to describing the sometimes-state of your brain, your heart, your world? Uh huh. Thought so.

From a swirling state of nothing, creativity bursts forth.

  • god creates light and says it is good.
  • god creates separation from the waters and spaces of dry land and says it is good.
  • god creates plants and vegetation that burst forth and says it is good.
  • god creates day and night – separate from one another – and says it is good.
  • god creates the glorious creatures that fill the seas and skies and says it is good.
  • god creates man and woman in divine image and says it is good. 
  • god rests. It is good.

The acceleration of the story, the quickening pace, the life that spontaneously explodes with each stanza, the exponential layers of growth and creativity and creation, cannot not bring forth a response of joy.

Creation (and creativity) summons forth joy.

No matter your religious or spiritual proclivities (or not), the act of creating is the thing that connects us most profoundly to who we are at core; to who we are as individuals made in the image of god; to god’s self as creator.

For me, the opposite is also true:

When I feel furthest from my truest self, from my deepest heart, from god, it is creation (and creativity) that brings me back; it is creativity’s joy that brings me home.

When in my darkest places and oft’ swirling spaces of nothingness, the slightest ray of hope peeks in when I will allow that god created from the same. And if I can hold on to even a shred of belief that I am god’s creation…well…then that means I’ve got the same DNA.

I can stay in nothingness a little longer. I can hold on to faith. Creation – light, beauty, pure and gorgeous humanity, and unfathomable joy is on the way.

It is good.

It’s all good.

Rest.

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Big love to JenMarianne, and Susannah for inviting me to muse and write on my own Creative Joy. They are committed to yours. Will you join them at their retreat in July?

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