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We Are All Creators

September 19, 2012

There is a famous mountain climber who philosophized that a mountain climber is an artist because the trail taken by a mountain climber is etched on the mountain forever, a creation and work of art forever left on the surface of that mountain (forgive me, I do not know exactly who the climber was, if you do, please let me know). When I heard someone talking about this the other day it made me think of creativity and art in general, and the human race. An idea came to me; that each life is similar to the trek of a mountaineer. 

Every life leaves an everlasting mark on the earth, in the world.

Every life is a creation, a work of art.

I believe that God created man and animals and all that jazz. Sure there may have been some evolution involved, how much I haven’t a clue, but that is for a different conversation. Point is, we are made after God’s own image according to Christian doctrine (I’m pretty sure all of those who call themselves Christians will agree on this) and therefore, we are made as creators. We have created tools, art, technology, etc. It’s an enormous tool we have to evolve. But, most importantly, we create ourselves. With every thought we think, word we speak, action we take, etc. we are creating a work of art and we are etching our mark on this earth – collectively.

I strongly believe that the best art comes from the artist who is reaching beyond him or herself. The painter has no rhyme or reason behind each stroke of the paint brush, but simply obeys his or her intuition. However, that artist must also stay within him or herself. The artist must team with something beyond him/herself and yet maintain a certain amount of control.

One great thing about art, however: the word perfection is nonexistent. There is always something you can add or take away from a work of art, but in order to produce something, one must come to a point where he/she settles on the work. And this keeps the painter going and motivated to move on to the next painting. If I ever wrote the perfect song or story, there would be no point in moving on to the next. I would be fully satisfied as a writer. There would be absolutely no point in continuing to write because I have achieved everything there is to achieve and writing would become boring as hell. It would be too easy. But my weaknesses and struggles and imperfections are what keep me going and motivated to work harder at my art.

And so, we are artists, who must reach beyond ourselves. We must let go to a certain point and realize that we are a work of art and we are not perfect, but these imperfections are the very things that should keep us going. We are never quite able to reach perfection, which is the very fact that keeps us longing for that perfection and prevents us from giving up.

I call this heaven. It is only available in glimpses, but those glimpses are powerful and stunning, and beyond beautiful. They make us want more and make us create more; for that access, that glimpse.

But, like with poetry, if we only write bad poetry and do not push ourselves by reaching beyond what we can fully comprehend, and only read bad poetry, or refuse to read any at all, the definition of poetry has thus become skewed and true poetry is now unrecognizable to this particular poet. What is called poetry, is now quite the opposite. And so, if we surround ourselves with what I call glimpses of hell, heaven to us becomes confused as hell (pun intended). For example, if the poet looks at poetry, not as something bigger than ourselves or beyond ourselves, but rather ourselves bigger than poetry; a poet who writes poetry to glorify him or herself, is confusing hell with heaven.

We create the two in a sense.

Like a a reader can create a text or painting by the interpretation. Sometimes, the two are not easily discernible, but the more heaven we expose ourselves to, the easier it becomes to recognize. Our actions thus build on one another like the words of a writer; every letter, punctuation mark, word, etc. working together to form meaning as they go, each impacting the next.

So, let us create ourselves and live our lives like a work of art, something that is to be cherished and marveled at and handled with care. Let us have a sense of urgency in our lives to replace as much hell as we can with as much heaven as we can reach. We are creating ourselves, so in a sense, we are creating the world. And it seems we must look beyond ourselves to do this.

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