Creativity is not some namby-pamby pastime. It is not merely the poem, the watercolor, the song. It is the act of humans describing the great mystery of Life Itself. Creativity is an act of faith, of hope, of love. It is virtuous, revelatory, prophetic. It is our prayer lived out. It is the heart reaching up to the brain; the brain whispering I love you to the heart. This union-the merging of thought and feeling- is what enlivens us. It gives birth to the images the future is sending us. When we create we are receivers of the future, open to signs from Mind-at-Large that guide us, gift us, and light our way.
I have been taking part in a six week program - a monastic experience where we use our creativity as a means of contemplative prayer and meditation. Each Sunday we gather by the lake, and after the initial guidance, spend the next four hours in silence – surrounded by our pencils, paints and easels.
We are creating in layers – first came the prayers written on the canvas, then came the “background” in (as our facilitator explains) the colors of God, and then the basic outline of our image in gold. This week we will begin filling in the image we’ve created on our canvas, and at the end of our six weeks, we will have a painting of the Madonna.
There is such a sense of communion with not only spirit, but also each other on those afternoons – even as we sit outside in the sweltering heat and humidity of a Midwest summer, seeking shade under the branches of the trees. The breeze blows in off the lake, and in our shared stillness the sound of our pencils and brushes across the canvases become the only sound; a holy song – a witness to the depth of what rests in our hearts now expressed.
We become sacred vessels in our little contemplative gathering circle – priestesses, wise women, mid-wives and healers.
“This” I think to myself, is coming home; living who we were meant to be as sacred channels of creation and creativity - connected in our own holy trinity of mind, body and spirit with hours of languid stillness stretched before us to savor and sip. Peaceful and still, serenely, like the Madonnas we are creating – we hold divine space, first within our bodies and then outward through our hands, blending the harsher lines of our sketches into a calming blur of softness with our fingertips.
Yes - our creativity is more than some namby-pamby pastime we dabble in between “to do” lists and laundry piles and errands and habitual busyness.
It is holy.
It is divine.
It is reverent.
It is please and thank-you.
It is a petition and a promise.
“Creativity is an act of faith, of hope, of love. It is virtuous, revelatory, and prophetic.”
And it deserves to be treasured and held and expressed as sacred.