This day – this post – marks the rebirth of my blog. I feel good about this. It feels like I’m reunited with a dear friend that has been gone for a while. We’re going to have so much fun again. And to kick things off, I’d like to share an old post from the archives – an inspirational video that will remind all of us about the importance of creating and motivate each one of us to produce our own magnum opus! xo
You are Worth the Time
by Jan Phillips
It’s not easy these days making time for our creative work. Voices call us from everywhere demanding our attention, our energy, our time. And many of us, somewhere along the path, got the message that making art was self-indulgent so we relegate it to the bottom of our list. It becomes the thing we get to when the laundry is done, the kids asleep, the groceries bought and put away. We get so caught up in the flurry of our lives that we forget the essential thing about art – that the act of creating is a healing gesture, as sacred as prayer, as essential to our spirit as food to our body. It is our creative work that reveals us to ourselves, allows us to transform our experience and imagination into new forms – forms that sing back to us in a language of symbol – who we are, what we are becoming, what it is we have loved and feared.
This is the alchemy of creation that as my energy fuses with the source of energy, a newness rises up in the shape of who I am and I myself am altered in the course of its release. I am never the same in the wake of this work. As I create, I come into my power and wisdom, into my deeper knowing, into that newness which becomes the gift which I share with the world. As a result of the time I spend at my work, there is more of me to give, more awareness, more joy, more depth. I become centered in the process, focused on the interior, attuned to the inner voice. Life is no longer about time, and demands, and errands. It is about the extraordinary metamorphosis of one thing into another. What begins as cocoon emerges a butterfly. What once was sorrow may now be a song.
As I am changed by the art that passes through me in the process of becoming, so am I changed by the creations of others. Having felt the truth of your cobalt blue, my red will remember and its voice will be clearer. In the turn of your phrase, the tenor of your voice, the pulse of your poem, I find fragments of myself I have long forgotten. It is to you I look to find myself. In your words I find the courage to write my own.
Making time for creative work is like making time for prayer. It is a healing act, a leave-taking from the chaos as we move from the choppy surface towards the stillness of the center. To be an artist it is not necessary to make a living from our creations, nor is it necessary to have work hanging in fine museums, or the praise of critics. It is not necessary that we are published or that famous people own our work. To be an artist, it is necessary to live with our eyes wide open, to breathe in colors of mountain and sky, to know the sound of leaves rustling, the smell of snow, the texture of bark. It is necessary to rub our hands all over life, to sing when and where we want, to take in every detail, and to jump when we get to the edge of a cliff. To be an artist is to notice every beautiful and tragic thing, to cry freely, to collect experience, and shape it into forms that others can use. It is not to whine about not having time but to be creative with every moment. To be an artist is not to wait for others to define us but to define ourselves, to claim our lives.
Our cities and towns are full of poets, playwrights, composers, and painters who drive buses, work in offices, wait on tables to pay the rent. Few of us are paid much for our creative work so we squeeze it into the hours we have left after working other jobs. We write our novels in the wee hours of the morning, work in our darkrooms through the night, write poetry on subway cars, finish essays in waiting rooms and parking lots. We rarely think of ourselves as artists, though it is our creative work that brings us to life, feeds our spirits, and sees us through the dark. We may feel alone but we are not alone. There are hundreds, thousands in the night doing as we do, trading this sacred time for the bliss of creating.
There are a lot of things we don’t have in life but time is not one of them. Time is all we have – one lifetime under this name to produce a body of work that says This is how I saw the world. Your work is worthy of whatever time it takes.