Friday, December 30, 2005

Sunshine and bare feet

The sunshine was streaming through the blinds of my bedroom window. It was making that distinctive striped pattern of sunlight and shadow that blinds make. It splashed across the quilt that still covered me. I wasn’t working today so it was possible to actually be in bed as the sun made it’s appearance in my room. The window was slightly open for fresh air overnight and I could hear birds happily singing outside.
The air in the room was fresh, the sunlight warming and persistent.

If Walt Disney were alive to design a day, one full of zippity-doo-dahs and bluebirds on your shoulder, he would have given me this morning.

It reminded me of those flowers that you see on the Discovery Channel. The ones where using time lapse filming they show the flower closed for the night, but then opening slowly to its full bloom as the daylight signals that it is time.

That in turn caused me to think about the creative potential in each of us. Some of us write blogs, others like my wife capture the world through photography. Some paint, some run and lift weights sculpting the physique, mother’s read creatively to their children, some make music, but everywhere you look, if you look carefully and with a discerning eye, you will see creativity at work in virtually all individuals around you.
All of us carry the potential to create. Many of your friends or family might claim otherwise, declaring “I can’t paint, draw or do anything creative”, but its not true.
God blessed us all with the power to create. The power to create love, art, food, friends, music, words, happiness and even sadness if its what we want.
All of us are like the flower you have seen on the Discovery Channel. We get a chance to show the world what beauty we can lend when each new day begins.

That is an important point in my mind, the idea that we lend our creativity to the world. In doing so we create beauty within the world. Many people in the arts want to be recognized for their contribution. That is only human and not in itself a negative thing, but it misses a larger point.
If we view our creativity in a different way, by understanding that what we have to give is being shared, even if we are not hoisted on to another’s shoulders to be celebrated, then we gain insight into the creative process life intends for us.
When I watch Olympic athletes perform I am inspired, yet I have not told them personally how inspiring they are. When I read fiction by David James Duncan I am inspired by and in awe of his talent, yet I have never met him.

I had a recent email conversation with Ken Stone. Ken is a devoted and hardworking athlete, blogger, historian, and journalist to the masters track world. His work and creative energy helps hold the masters track community together.
Ken is creating a history and time stamped documentation of our sport that will be absolutely priceless for generations to come and yet he is not celebrated often enough for his talent and contribution. Ken humbly told me he gets the satisfaction he needs from his interaction with masters athletes.
We all need Ken’s wisdom on this. He has the understanding that what we do creatively lives and breathes of its own strength and merit and not by the praise of others. He understands that his talent is to be shared.

I am not the type to give you bible quotes. So, I am not going to quote, but merely paraphrase from that source because I find it fitting to the topic.
It was recorded by his disciples that Jesus said (carefully paraphrased): “Do not conceal your light within. Let your light shine so that the whole world can see it.”
I believe this is illumination on what he wished for us to understand about creativity; the idea that each of us can contribute and each of us gain in some way by the collective contribution of letting our creative light shine.

It is the wisest of persons that understands his or her contribution is being absorbed and appreciated by others even when the appreciation is not immediately known. I re-introduce you to the idea of a musician inspiring millions while unable to meet them all and learn that he or she has inspired them.
How many of us have discovered an incredible photograph, piece of art, music or literature and had it inspire our lives without a clue as to whom the creator might have been? Still, the creator exists, though they will never experience your praise or satisfaction.

Learn this. It is enough to create. Create and move forward, never looking around for applause. Often the applause will circle around and surprise you from the front. Sometimes it will be applause so distant that you never hear it all; and that is alright because the measure of your gift has been fully received.

I got out of bed and stood in the sunshine, observing it splatter across my chest in its distinctive pattern, enjoying its warmth. My wife walked through the room on the way to another room. She smiled at me. She was barefoot and nude. She was as pretty as the day I first saw her. Her ‘birthday clothes’ image bounced around in my head happily and energetically even though she never said a word to me as she walked away into another part of the house. It remained long after she left.

She was creating art, she just didn’t know it.

Now that image is in your head. See what I mean?

Now I Get It.......maybe

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