The Courage to Create: Guts, Glory, Gracious Gap
I've been in an art slump, up against all the perils of LIFE + Living In Full Expression through art that comes from the very heart and soul of who you are. I've been doing battle with the two voices.
One would tell me it is too dangerous still to dare to face the blank canvas. You cannot risk what might appear.
The other says you are here say it all. You must speak truth. Find the courage to be true to who you are. You have everything you need, and you will not only survive but be happier when you allow your soul this space to speak its peace.
It's enough to send you soaring off into the hinterlands. While being pulled in the seemingly opposite directions, I've come face to face with the guts and glory of art.
Guts and Glory
Being creative, or rather allowing that creativity inherent in us all to be expressed, is glorious. It takes us to the mountaintop. All the world is made right again.
But then there is the messy business of it all. There are days when you don't know anything and you just want to quit. You are standing on the edge of everything, caught up in a maze.
Do you know this place? Do you have this kind of experience too? You know, the kind of experience where to step into the center and paint with conviction requires guts. Because creating puts you right there gazing into the mirror of yourself.
Minding the Gap
In his book The Courage to Create, Rollo May wrote,
"Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between the stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight."Rollo May
The pause is everything. The gap is a gift... even when it is a looooooooong gap and you feel hopelessly lost in the chasm between true inspiration and creative expression.
Are you minding the gap? Are you allowing the void to expand your capacity and find the courage to create?
See, what I've discovered in this season of unrest and a seeming incapacity to create is that the void, the chasm and the endless desert wandering when I am caught up in that gap is actually a valuable part of the process.
The GAP is a Generous Activating Principle that informs my art by inviting me to be in formation with it. I am one with the process.Dawn Richerson
It Takes Courage...
So when we are in a artistic slump and we think we are lagging behind, we can take heart. You see, it takes courage to stand in the gap and claim with full authority that you are a creator.
After all, you are not creating.
That voice is gonna tell you that you're a failure, you don't have a freaking clue what you are doing and any past delusions that told you that you had something to say in paint or poetry or any other art form was merely a mirage.
We take a long hard look at ourselves and see there are no accolades, no badge of courage or medals of commendation. And we are shaking in our boots. We, the lions of creativity shrink. We tuck our tail and run into shadow.
It takes courage to stand there all exposed in your undoing. And that is just what we are called to do.
Those are my thoughts today on guts, glory and the gap and its generous gift to all who dare the artist's way.
Just Another Courageous Creator Standing in the Gap Who Hopes to Paint Again Sometime Soon
P.S. While I have not been painting, I have been writing and sharing new journeys from the soul for the soul. You can always find my books, journeys and