The world sits in darkness, wallowing in a grief in cannot contain. It cracks and groans from a furious weight of brokenness that refuses to be quelled. The tyranny of our time rises in uncontrollable waves daring is to hope in the face of its ceaseless threats. In these turbulent times the practice of creativity, gives me a new perspective.
A creative practice in difficult times may help us process what the burden of ache means in our own hearts. We toss and tumble feelings, questions, doubts, ideas, and whatever else might be weighing on our souls. Something of the creative process releases my own tension and makes my relief tangible. Is that just me, or does that happen for you too? I’m sure there’s plenty of research out there on the therapy of art making and creativity, and I’ll be looking into more of that later. For now, I just want to talk about my own creative practice and what it means for me.
I look for hope. I unearth it, digging it up from unexpected places. I think it’s one of the ways to get gritty with life – find hope in the middle of your darkest moments. I try to find a way to be a voice of light and goodness. It’s not alway easy. Maybe it’s easier to debase one’s self to the low road and fight back with ugliness, but I can’t tolerate living in the filth of disdain, pettiness, accusation, judgment, or meanness. It’s not who you or I were meant to be, and so I look for hope – it’s almost like treasure hunting. I create, splash paint, make cut out poetry, draw, sing, bake (yes, that’s a creative practice), and hand letter.
Because I believe in the power of words to lift up and encourage, I practice hand lettering phrases, scriptures, words, and quotes. I find the practice helps me retrain my mind to focus on good things while navigating the darkness. I can’t make it go away, but I can learn to flourish and grow while walking through it and give a bit of kindness to other travelers along the way. I become a hopester. It doesn’t make me ignore what’s happening in the world, but gives me another way to pray, process my own concerns, refocus, and perhaps reach to others.
Friends, be encouraged. The darkness cannot win when we fight back with the light of love, hope, and kindness. Choose to respond in the opposite spirit and leave a legacy of life. Leave a light so others can find their way out of their darkness too. Speak a kind word. Share an act of love. Do good deeds. That’s the kind of creative practice I think our world needs more of, so let’s just do more of that and make a difference. There is so much hope lying beneath the surface waiting for us to excavate.
Tell me your stories, I’d love to hear them. What creative practices do you engage in to unearth hope?
In the month of October, I’m participating in the #Write31Days challenge. I’m focusing creative practice in the ordinary everyday mundane. Each day (or whenever I write) for the series I will post the link on my page for my #31DaysOfCreativePractice. Come along and read.