I narrated my blog post for you if you prefer to listen instead of read <3 Enjoy!
As I was sweeping remnants of plaster on the floor from my latest work-in-progress, it stirred some thoughts within me about the process of creativity.
I didn’t bother to fully clean the floor, simply sweeping the pile of plaster into a simple pile to the side, because I’m still in the middle of the messiest part of the project. When I’m working, I prefer to simply allow the process to be whatever mess it will be, then clean up at the end of the project. Otherwise I’m wasting time trying to keep the space neat, and very distracted and slowed down from the actual creative project itself. All my attention is focused on the end goal of beauty, and with this focus I am not bothered by the messy stages that preceded the beauty. All I see is the finished result in my mind’s eye.
I was pondering how many artists and creatives who make the creative process a regular part of their life have the same comfort in the mess that always precedes beauty. Art always looks ugly until the finishing touches. Music in its process sounds terrible and goes through so many phases of disunity and lack of direction before finally coming together into a cohesive song. A poet might only have a single word on their paper with no idea how to bring out what they know is inside of them. The author may have journals full of scratched out ideas before their novel begins to emerge. The mature creative soul is comfortable with having to sort through tremendous chaos of the many directions in order to arrive at the cohesive narrative of the project. The insecure creatives will unfortunately stop short before uncovering beauty because they are uncomfortable with the messiness or ugliness mid-process. The process of creating is one of discovering the creation and pulling it into this realm of existence so that everyone can experience its beauty like it appears within themselves.
The process of creativity in bringing the beauty out of the mess is exactly as God, the original creator did from the beginning. The account of Genesis and God creating the landy and sky and plant life and creatures, it all is shared through a language of bringing order out of chaos. I related to this imagery strongly contemplating this story as God having a similar process of having this vision in his mind of what he wants to see. He then separated away what didn’t look like his vision, and pulled together what he needed to create what he envisioned. He ordered the chaos, separated the darkness from the light, and separated the waters from the land. Using that same land he brought to order, He formed his ultimate masterpiece, a vision of beauty that reflected his own image. He created us with the same nature to create as he did.
It is the attribute of the nature of God within us to have such patience in the mess before the beauty rises from the ashes. And God is still creating an ultimate masterpiece in us, and in all of creation. There is a beauty he’s crafting that is more precious and valuable than keeping a tidy Earth, or tidy lives that never have struggles. He’s not concerned about the messy process of creativity when he has a vision for the beauty of humanity, his own sons and daughters. We should not then be surprised when our lives seem to have times of chaos and mess and uncertainty. These are the very things that are tools of God shaping the original masterpiece of the original artist. We are his work at the very core of our being. Not the path of our life choices, not our careers, or what we accomplish, or anything we ever do , but who we are in the essence of our souls, designed to look just like him. So when I am focusing too much on life’s disappointments, I will allow room for the process that doesn’t look lovely and shift my focus to the beauty to be revealed in me.
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