Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Brokenness And Creativity

In recent weeks and months I feel like I have been on some kind of intellectual holiday. Looking back over recent posts there is very little reflective thought. Since I quit sending our daily emails to hundreds of people, I have felt no pressure to provide people with something to think about. This lack of pressure and the events in my life during the month of November put me in a trance where I have read very little and I have only thought about the needs of the moment. The transition back to work has been smooth and after only a couple of days I feel like I was never away. The downside to returning to work is that I have fallen back into a pattern of going home and falling asleep in the early evening. I wake up in a daze and spend the rest of the night in a fog. I need to break this pattern quickly before it becomes too entrenched.

Today during lunch I read the following thought from a book entitled 365 Tao. The book has daily meditations from a Chinese philosopher named Deng Ming-Dao.

There's nothing to paint anymore.
We've seen everything from the classical to the absurd.
There's nothing to write anymore.
As many books are shredded as read.
There's nothing to sing anymore.
The once avant-garde is now background music.

Basically, this reading is about the difficulty of maintaining creativity. Though it is difficult to maintain creativity, we are compelled to keep trying. The commentary on these verses says, "The only way to have fresh expression is to go deep within". Although I have certainly had a few deep moments in the last couple of months, a great deal of my time has been spent living on the surface of my life with needs and concerns that were staring me in the face. I have experienced a variety of moods, some good, some bad, others positive and some that were negative. Looking out the window in the room where I write most of my thoughts I noticed that all the leaves on the tree in my front yard were now on the ground and the limbs of the tree were bare and exposed. Looking closer I realized the tree had several broken branches from the windstorm that blew through my area several months ago. It made me wonder, "How much brokenness do we hide from others with various disguises and coverings"? If we were all emotionally exposed to one another, how much hidden brokenness would we see? What is my brokenness? Where do I hurt and why? How do we heal ourselves? I think part of my ongoing healing will occur by going "deep within" and writing about it as honestly and openly as I can. Metaphorically, as well as literally, I want to continue painting and writing and singing. The creative process is a healing process and by exposing my pain and brokenness, I allow myself to be healed.

Whatever my mood, it always improves when I see my granddaughter. After work today my wife and I picked her up at the day care center. She is always excited to see me. We had dinner at McDonald's where we ate hamburgers and french fries and chocolate chip cookies. On the way to my house we drove through the surrounding neighborhoods and looked at all the Christmas lights. My heart was lifted when I heard her squeals of delight whenever we saw a house that was decorated. We both agreed that we prefer the colored lights over white lights. We ended the night by watching "A Shrek Christmas" on television and drinking pumpkin egg nog.

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