There were times when I was writing my thoughts down - thoughts that would end up being my book - when I would reread what I wrote the day before and wonder to myself, "Who wrote that? Certainly not me! It is quite good!" I didn't dwell on this thinking for fear of insulting whatever it was that managed to find it's way onto my manuscript. In time, however, long after I finish writing the book and it had been published, I found the confidence to wonder more about it.
The creative process is something I have listened to artists talk about and apply with keen interest. Popular thinking leans towards the influence of a muse or supporting entity at work upon the artist. I've no trek with that but I'm thinking there is more to it than something as contrary as an outside romantic force that befalls the artist like the weather. I'm sure that it feels that way as a person is creating things but I'm not so convinced it is sourced as something outside of a person. I'm thinking there is more to the story of how being human works to create in this world. This poem makes me think of this.
As I have been studying teachings that portend that a human being is living out a trajectory of a life that is seeded in one's own soul that is forgotten at birth, I wonder how is it that this map of our lives is discovered and our way-going found? Of the many ways a larger dispensation of life can manifest in a person's life, I am thinking that it is art and creation that allow our collective move into more of who we are to come into being. I am thinking these days that it is less an outside being that inspires and directs as it is an inside job that is sourced in the soul that is at play. All of the creative soup is served up in a kitchen within ourselves where many - depending on their taste and talent - can divine a resonance and carry forward in inspiration. It is less about the artist and more about the art; less about the maker and more about what's made. Perhaps because we are so prone towards projecting our desires on idols that we find this absurd but I'm not so sure the idolatry isn't a habit we've acquired that would serve us better if better balanced.
I'm not so sure it even matters how one views the source of their inspiration or the cut of their jib as long as we honor whatever it is that moves us into our passionate natures and spurns us to create and/or live a fuller life. I'm just saying it might serve humanity better if we put at least a stronger focus on the art than the artist. It is hard, however, to not fall under the influence of a poet's charm when they write:
"...And the poem will often Respond By climbing onto a barroom table: Then lifts its skirt, winks, Causing the whole sky to Fall.”
Thank you for listening.
Music: This rendition of Stars written by Janis Ian in the 1070's and done here by Nina Simon is what I'm talking about in learning to listen to the art itself and not be so slayed by the charm of the artist. It is hard to not fall under the spell of someone who has cultivated their great talent and desire their being separate and greater than we are. It is not so easy to remember the wonder that we are all blessed with a divine talent - even for just a moment - as we listen.
...Stars, they come and go, they come in fast, they come slow
And they go like the last light of the sun all in a blaze
And all you see is glory
But most have seen it all
Who live their lives in sad cafés and music halls
And we always have a story...
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.
My book can be purchased HERE. E-book HERE. The Season Two blogcasts with audio excerpts from my book begin HERE: in Behind The Lines. This reading of the book excerpts in a mixed media format is Season Two of this blog. These recorded excerpts are outside the chronological order in which the book was written. Podcasts with audio only beginning with episode 22 can be found HERE.