Posted by: Michelle UluOla | April 2, 2010

CREATORS: Raconteurs, Balladeers, Artists and YOU

I did not write it. God wrote it. I merely did his dictation.
— Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896) referring to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

I’ve been no more than a medium, as it were. — Henri Matisse (1869–954) French painter

Art is not an end in itself. It introduces the soul into a higher spiritual order, which it expresses and in some sense explains. Music and art and poetry attune the soul to God because they induce a kind of contact with the Creator….
– Thomas Merton (1915–1968) from “No Man Is An Island”

The theoretician believes in logic and believes that he despises dreams, intuition, and poetry.  He does not recognize that these three fairies have only disguised themselves in order to dazzle him…. He does not know that he owes his greatest discoveries to them. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French aviator and the author (1900–1944)

It has happened more than once that a composition has come to me ready-made as it were, between the demands of other work.
— Amy Beach (1867–1944) first successful American female composer and pianist

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
— Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…” And then do it. — Duane Michals, (1932-) “More Joy of Photography”

I don’t even consider that I wrote it when I got done… The song was there before me, before I came along. I just sorta came down and just sorta took it down with a pencil, but it was there before I came around. — Bob Dylan (1941- )

Every time we say, “Let there be!” in any form, something happens.
– Stella Terrill Mann

The quotes above from masters working in different fields have a common theme that’s voiced repeatedly. The creative force is one of mystery and seems to come from outside us. It inspires us, even demands at times, that we give it life through writing, painting, music, numerous other mediums, and even, science. It is the birthmother of what Joseph Campbell called Bliss. When we’re immersed in its Flow, we become unaware of the passage of time–our focus is solely on what we’re creating.

Storytellers, music makers and artists have lit the world with inspiration and beauty throughout human history, ministering to our hearts and spirits with their blissful works. Today, there are scores of creative people amongst us who honor that tradition, motivating us and elevating our moods and vibration.

Writers are voracious readers, and I’m no exception. It would be impossible to list all the authors whose works have encouraged and inspired me. Here are a few of my favorites: Eric Pearl, Hank Wesselman, Sandra Ingerman, Wayne Dyer, Gregg Braden, James Redfield, Michael Harner, Neale Donald Walsch, Christiane Northrup, M.D., Sarah Ban Breathnach, and Serge King. They all have the same things in common: a passion for assisting others and making a positive difference in our world. I recall insightful conversations about their writing process that I had with Hank Wesselman and Sam Keen. They each remarked about how they’re often surprised when they read what they’ve written, feeling the words were not their own. They believed that they had merely downloaded them from some Higher Source while they were in their bliss writing. I’ve had the same experience.

Filmmakers have become the official raconteurs of our society, and there are many who continually move us. Steven Spielberg had already been hard at work when he delighted us with “ET,” and he continues to produce quality entertainment that also makes us think. James Cameron has done the same, recently gifting the planet with “Avatar.” Their zeal for storytelling, and our appreciation of it, is Oscar-winningly evident.

Music reflects the times, and the youngest musicians have often rebelled through their compositions. Though the sounds of discord are still expressed, along with the universal themes of love lost and found, there’s something else. While the ‘60’s and ‘70’s produced balladeers who sang of the “Age of Aquarius,” the decades following have birthed talents who’ve expanded that theme. Now, FM soft rock and New Age radio and Internet stations are offering amazing notes of optimism. Composers and lyricists, both young and older, add a soundtrack to our lives that can transport us to higher levels. Musicians often talk about how they can’t, not make music. Thank goodness! Sound therapy research is validating what ancient traditions have always known: sound vibrations can heal the human spirit…and body!

Artists working in all forms of media delight us with their magic as they respond to the Voice that fires their imagination. Paintings, drawings, photographs, video, computer-generated art, sculpture and all the creations by masters working in wood, metal, glass, gemstones and organic materials decorate our lives with incredible beauty.

But, as important as the contributions of the famous are, those of the unknowns are also worthy of acknowledgment. Arts and crafts fairs aren’t just flukes. They rise up on village squares and in cities everywhere, showcasing the charming and functional handiwork of the nameless. And look at the Internet—what an amazing invention! While it’s sometimes maligned for its back-alley content, it’s the world’s richest library and most powerful tool ever produced for the exchange of ideas and information between people across the globe. It’s fostering friendships that could not be made in any other way, and that’s a pathway to collaboration and peace. It’s also a bubbling cauldron of creativity and inspiration. Where do all the contributions come from? From you. From us.

It turns out that we’re all artists in our own right. You think not? I can hear some saying, “Oh, but I don’t have any talent; I’m not at all creative.” Yes, you are, but possibly, you haven’t dared to consider yourself so. Or just because you don’t sell what you produce, you figure you don’t qualify? Everyone has a Talent of their own begging to be set free, and it doesn’t require that you pen a best-selling novel or Top-40 hit, or brush-stroke a painting that will hang in a museum. You’re already creating, even if you don’t label it as such.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “create” as to cause to exist; bring into being; to give rise to; to produce through artistic or imaginative effort. And it goes on to say under “creative,” having the ability or power to create: human beings are creative animals; productive; marked by originality and expressiveness; imaginative. So, if you’re a human being, it’s in your very nature to create.

I have a friend who will periodically comment that while she thinks I’m creative, she doesn’t feel she is, because she doesn’t actually create anything of substance. That makes me laugh in disbelief. I walk through her yard, always in awe of her glorious garden beds that are bursting with texture, shape and color during every season. She’s a graduate of a Master Gardener program, and it shows. Then I enter her home and immediately feel the warmth of its welcome, for she’s painted the walls in lovely hues of the Southwest and adorned them with vibrant artwork. Her yard and home are a perfect extension of her personality and reflect her boundless creativity that’s so second nature to her that she doesn’t even recognize it!

Do you hang pictures on the walls of your home in a pleasing display and arrange your furniture in a comfortable fashion? Have you painted your bathroom? Are your gardens abloom with flowers that you bring inside to perfume the air? Do you carve pumpkins? Festoon your house with holiday lights and decorations? Do you have an easel, woodworking shop or pottery tucked into the garage or basement? Do you weld? Make jewelry, sew, knit or crochet? Do you decorate birthday cakes, bake bread or cookies, or whip up a secret family recipe when entertaining or for the PTA fundraiser? Do you strum a guitar or tickle the ivories alone or when friends gather? Or sing in the shower? Do you get dressed in the morning with an eye for attractive color combinations and accessorize with a great tie or lovely jewelry? Do you design forms and systems at work that enhance organization? Invent things? Do you write in a journal? Blog? Grab your camera for every event, vacation or outdoor excursion? Do you have children? Ah, ha! Gotcha!! See…you’re a lot more creative than you give yourself credit for. All those things fill your life and that of others with the sparks that elevate spirits. How drab, boring and downright miserable would the world be without all the things YOU create every day…because you can’t, not do it?

Now that we’ve established that we’re all creative talents, isn’t it time we celebrate each other and ourselves as such? Encourage your family and friends in their artistic endeavors; compliment their creations, no matter how modest. Give yourself permission to express yourself in whatever way your particular Muse inspires. Revisit childhood hobbies; make something. Experience the satisfaction when you stand back and declare, “I did that!” It will keep you connected with the Creator that is the real you. And, there’s always the possibility that in so doing, you might just find yourself awakened to a new path to fulfillment that you hadn’t considered, something that will shift your life and bring new light into our world. To that end, perhaps these downloaded words are worth pondering:

There is no easy formula for determining right and wrong livelihood, but it is essential to keep the question alive. To return the sense of dignity and honor to manhood, we have to stop pretending that we can make a living at something that is trivial or destructive and still have a sense of legitimate self-worth. A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls. — Sam Keen, noted American author, professor and philosopher

©UluOla 2010

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Responses

  1. Very up-lifting,Michelle. Like always, wonderful written! ♥

    Like

    • Thank you, Angelika! Your support means a lot, and on a very rainy day here, really brightened mine!

      Like

  2. Well written post. There certainly are many ways to express our creativity.

    Like


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