Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pirates of Creative Fire

"Every creative act is a theft from the gods," wrote Rollo May in his book The Courage to Create. He goes on to say that the deep powers of nature don't hand out the sparks of energy that shape the world to anyone who causally drops by. Getting the gold of creative force requires us to outwit and outrun the guardians of the vital fires of design and craft. 

There's energy in this idea. Sure, peacefully dabbing a few spots of paint on a canvas can create colorful images of pretty flowers. The result is often a tepid, lifeless object. On the other hand, peering over the edge of the known, gazing into the waters on the indescribable, reaching into that dark source, and pulling up the gleaming nuggets of creative inspiration invigorates the artist and those who encounter her work.

Perhaps artistic struggle does not come from blocks in our psyches. Maybe they are traps laid by Psyche, Eros, Demeter and other archetypes to hide the vital energies. Maybe the forces of nature like a good wrestling match because the struggle itself is what presses creative gems to the surface. So, if your creativity isn't flowing as easily as you'd like and you're lost in the land of what to do, maybe you are playing it too nice. Instead, find your inner, bad-ass pirate of creativity. Plot your way through the defenses of the gods, storm the fort, grab the gold, run like hell and put it into your work. At least it sounds more fun than writing another journal entry and hoping for the best.

No comments:

Post a Comment