My creations serve the Earth
A friend of mine told me recently that they love creating art, but doing so in these times feels selfish. I get it. Depending on which window you look out, the world is curdling, desiccated, fracturing, and on fire. There are so many of us who feel the urgency of making a meaningful contribution.
At the same time, there is a sticky story in our culture that the only worthwhile art is the kind that makes us a ‘successful artist’ (become a writer so you can write a best-seller, write music so you can create work that sells).
Not only does this pressure to fit our creations in a box of ‘successful art’ often dampen our ability to create anything at all, it can also leave us in a bind.
When we make art to scramble up the ladder individual success, it can feel hollow, meaningless and selfish. It can feel at odds with our desire to do something useful in the world. “The world dies” as Adrianne Arachne puts it, while we fixate on that ladder.
And yet we long to create.
I believe it is possible to relate to our creative impulses in a different way.
What happens when we treat our creative practice not as a means of attaining mastery or success, but as an act of service to all that we love? How does it change what we create and how we create it? What happens when we step into the possibility that our creations serve the interconnection of life on Earth – that our creations are life-giving?
Let me be clear: I’m not saying that artists should not be well-paid and celebrated for their contributions. I believe the opposite is true. Artists perform an essential service.
But what happens when we, as artists, stop focusing on outcomes and products, and simply focus on allowing creativity to flow through us, in service to this giant organism that we are part of?
Right now, when I plug into this possibility, I feel a current of energy running up through my feet, through my heart and out through my hands. I have the thought – oh! I don’t have to pursue success as an artist; but I get to be a channel for creativity to meet the needs of the world around me. Art is born through me, because it is called for, because it is necessary.
My prayer is that by devoting ourselves to creative practice as service...
we give life to the wild places within us and around us
we come to our senses, and to the immediacy of the challenges we face
we come into intimate conversations with our communities about things that really matter
we are released from the trance of over-consumption
and we contribute to the cycle of renewal.
With so much love,
P.S. Registration is now open for Path of the Poetic Heart! This is an intimate 10 week online group programme for sensitive and courageous humans to awaken the power of their ‘inner poets’ so that they can experience the freedom of potent and joyful self-expression through creative writing, and write a pile of poems they are proud of. We kick off at the beginning of September 2022. Jump in!