On Creativity

The great mystic-theologian Teilhard de Chardin once wrote: “We may perhaps imagine that creation was finished long ago. But that would be quite wrong. It continues more magnificently and at the highest levels of the world….And we serve to complete it, even by the humblest work of our hands.” (The Divine Milieu, p. 62)

What a powerful, humbling notion! We are called not merely to witness God’s ongoing creation, but to participate in it. To move creation forward. It is just as Fritz Kunkel’s book title says: “Creation continues”.

There are at least two ways any of us can participate in creation. First, at the very least, we can work to not interfere with creation. This would include anything from honoring our environment to accepting and encouraging what loved ones need to do to grow.

Even moreso, though, we are called to be creative. Just as Freud argued for a Will to Pleasure, Adler a Will to Power, and Frankl a Will to Meaning, I would argue that we are all imbued with a Will to Create and that to frustrate that drive to create is to ask for psychological and spiritual trouble.

Some years ago as part of different workshops  I presented I would help participants to write a poem. Many hesitated, not believing they had it in them. But the results were consistently impressive, affirming the notion that we all have poets inside of us. I recall many poems such as one shared by a Native American woman who expressed pride in  the son who bravely wore a Redsox cap at a game at Yankee Stadium. I recall too the joy displayed by many when they discovered their own poetry within.

We are all blessed with creative potential. For some, their creativity blossoms with works of art — a painting, a poem, a song, a dance. For others, their creativity may manifest itself in humor or baking or gardening. The possibilities are without limit.

Try it. Write a poem and read it to loved ones. Post it here as a comment. Given that I always believe I should walk the walk, not just talk the talk, here is a brief poem I wrote the other morning:

A morning 3-mile run/Morricone’s Mission lightens my step/As the Les Miz cast urges me/To embrace One Day More./Rain at Mile 2./I am cleansed/And Hopkins comes to me/In praise of pied beauty.

I believe if you begin to pump the wellspring of your creativity, you will be pleased. And God’s creation will move forward.

Reflection: How regularly do you nurture your creativity?

Further reading: Fritz Kunkel Creation Continues; Julia Cameron The Artists’ Way