Sunday, July 13, 2008

Creativity... touchstone of the soul

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

Saturday was our annual Open Garden, where my husband struts his passion - his beautiful daylilies, all 200 or so varieties, plus the ones he's hybridized (imagine - flower nookie!). I have my little patch of earth as well, mostly herbs and vegetables - the practical stuff.

A gorgeous summer day, one full of good discussion, fantastic food (pesto and shrimp pizza, strawberry-rhubarb pie, lots of salads, and local cantaloupe), and capped off with a plant swap.

Sunday I strutted my stuff, wandering into my husband's usual territory - I gave a summer service at our Unitarian Universalist church (hubbers is the minister). I love the lay-laid summer services, so casual with chairs arranged in an ellipse, folks in shorts and sandals, and lots of discussion afterwards. My sermon was titled "Creativity, the touchstone of our soul, but why do we fear it so?"

A subject too near to my heart.

I've been pondering this issue of creativity, this wondrous river and its tangled tributaries and diversions. Such waters I've tasted - what a blessing to be human, to be able to parse words and sentences into prose.

Marketing my work has forced me to acknowledge the difference between the process and the product of writing. I've come to realize that no matter what the publishing outcome of BRIGHTER THAN BRIGHT, the most salient part of that book was the journey made to realize the story, both the inner journey made in imagining the lives of my characters and their world, and the outer journey made in the realization of my creative self.

And so it will be for every other poem or story or novel that falls from my fingers to grace once empty pages.

Creativity is a divine gift. My job as a human is to honor that gift. And one way for me to continue creating is to embrace a corollary to Pearce's truth: “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being perfect.”

Very wabi sabi. Very well... perfect.

WHAT I'M READING: INTUITION by Allegra Goodman. She uses a roving third-person POV which I find disconcerting at times, sinking the reader into different heads within a single scene. She achieves this almost seamlessly, but not so well as Updike. But Updike is God, or as close as writer mortals come.

For a true poetic treat, read these five by Adam Fieled in the latest issue of OTOLITHS. Rarely do I read, then reread, a poem and sigh each time. These are poems I wish I'd written, especially When you bit... and Sheet Covered.

THE WRITING: Writing and pre-writing on PURE clipping along at a steady pace. Struggling with a kernal of a poem call THE GOD PARTICLE and contemplating a few flashes which are, well, flashes in my pan.

It's been tough writing, tough sorting through all this... stuff. It's like running at breakneck speed for a great distance, then suddenly stumbling. I've been falling into my writing, the process of it, and I guess it's something one must do to get to the other side.

Keep creating. Always. peace, Linda


  1. Awesome post, Linda. Your writing is so poetic. I know that I fear my own creativity but I'm not sure why exactly. :) The daylilies sound beautiful!

  2. Beautiful pictures, and great post. I'm not the religious type (as I'm sure you've gathered, lol), and I wish I could have been there for your sermon, it sounds awesome.

    There's a book called Writing Alone. A friend of mine has it and I paged through the beginning, and the author said something about our fear of creativity stemming from a deeper fear of truly encountering ourselves. I think that makes sense, in a sort of disturbing way.

    I haven't been writing much lately, and I wish I was. Hmmm. Why does life feel so busy sometimes?

  3. The strange things was that after I'd written my blog I popped over to yours and found we were both pondering the same issue. You have a more poetic way of saying it though, keep writing Linda you do it well. Gillian

  4. Linda,

    Your husband's lily garden puts my peonies and columbine to shame. And I too have a vegetable garden although the weeds are growing faster than the veggies as our weather isn't cooperating to boost the crops. The berries are coming along nicely though.
    The garden party and swap sounds like a fab time. Wish I was there.

    There too for your creativity sermon.
    There are many avenues to creativity and none without struggle. The beauty is the product. And the path to the outcome.

    Lovely post.


  5. See the problem is that the Creator is what we aspire to be like and therefore we know we are not perfect and will never be able to achieve that until we unite with Him. Yet the ability, the gift, has been given and we must do what we can to reach the highest point we can and yet again we know that is not possible.
    Nice post and lovely lillies and thanks for the link to Adam Fieled.

  6. oops I wanted to also say, Sometimes it is only the journey we are meant to be on and to accomplish

  7. Ah, in reverse order... yes Paige, you hit the paradox on the head. And I believe you - sometimes it IS the journey we are meant to accomplish, not the destination. Just wish I knew now!

    Kim, I adore columbine. Our daylilies are awesome, but truth be told, I love my narcissus best. And my herbs... I'm going to post your last para by my laptop.

    Chrys, you may not be religious but, I am afraid, you are spiritual;^) Indeed, you're one of the most spiritual folks I know. That book looks interesting - I'll check it out. And yes, isn't that what we keep telling each other - DIG DEEPER?!

    MJ, I know I certainly fear my own creativity, too. I wonder at times - what have I wraught? And is it true? Thank you...

    Keep creating folks. Peace, Linda