Saturday, October 20, 2012

Signs and Guideposts for the Creative Life

Here is a piece of wisdom from Madeleine L'Engle: "But unless we are creators we are not fully alive.  What do I mean by creators?  Not only artists whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint or clay or words.  Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living.  Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career."

Many of us ARE engaged in the material  or verbal arts.  But those things we produce are not what allow us to claim the label "creative".  There is something larger and deeper that we tap into and these things we make or write or sing or dance are just expressions of that center.  There are many people in the world who are amazingly creative who don't produce any particular thing, and yet when you think about them and the way they live their lives, you recognize them as the most alive people you know.

I think of one friend from many years ago who provided the most welcoming place to visit - in her home and in her heart.  Carol would not describe herself as creative.  Her house was warm, eclectic, a bit messy, totally inviting.  Her meals were simple and delicious.  When you were with her you had her   attention.  Children and animals loved her.  She liked to discuss things, question, mull topics over.  Maybe you'd see something from a different perspective.  She was unfailingly kind and generous.  Her life was her art form.

Each day we are given the opportunity to be creative - whether or not we can get into our studio, open our box of supplies, find time for lunch.  What might you do today with this gift?


  1. Your description of your friend whose simple way of living was in itself creative really struck me. I have a dear friend who is like that as well. I am continually inspired by her.

    It was also very nice to read a Madeliene L'Engle quote. She is one of my all time favorite authors from childchood.

  2. Yes, I've always liked her, too. She used to come to Holy Cross Monastery to lead retreats and I'd tried a couple of times to get in, but always was full before I applied. I loved her Wrinkle in Time series, of course, but also have enjoyed her collections of essays for adults.

  3. Thank you for another insightful post Becky. I feel like my idea of true creativity has been expanded.