Finding Courage in Creativity

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” –Erich Fromm


The new year brings with it a desire to retrace the past year: see what we did well, where things went astray, how we got where we are. 2008 was a challenging year for me, as it was for so many others. There are a lot of possibilities for the upheavals: the planets were out of alignment, half the earth’s population went insane en masse. Or maybe, the tension and uncertainty that has become commonplace in our world pressed darkly on many fragile psyches until they shattered. I choose that one, mostly because I like the way the words flow.


I’m one of those people who glimpse artistry in almost any endeavor. The mechanic piecing together a car engine; the running of a business, with it’s ebb and flow of people and the numbers that speak to those inclined to listen; the hairstylist who looks at a head full of hair and sees a canvas; a teacher taking the time to listen to a student and the student standing a little straighter, throwing his shoulders back, walking with a little more assurance, knowing he is important to someone he admires. It’s all art to me. The beauty of creativity is how, when things are the hardest, when the world has taken its kicks and blows, leaving us feeling broken and wounded, anything that gives a reprieve can save us.


Allowing ourselves to slip inside a story, a poem, a painting or a song, hints at the possibility of hope, of a better time. And when we are the ones writing that story, that poem, painting that picture, performing that song, the healing balm is more powerful than anything that can be prescribed. In 2009, I challenge myself and others who are still regaining their footing to allow what they love most to soothe them, tap into the muse without judgment, see what lies beneath the What Ifs? and the What Nows? Imagine a brave tomorrow.


Looking back, 2008 was a watershed year for me. It was also a clarifying one. Through it all, I had friends and family who love me, and words to carry me through. I am blessed.


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