the big picture
I was asked to give a short talk last Sunday at the local Unitarian Universalist church on the topic of spirituality and creativity. I posted the text of the whole talk on my website
(listed under "essays" below bio information) but here is an excerpt:I would like to begin with talking about searching as both an artistic and a spiritual activity. When I paint, what I’m after is undefined throughout much of the process. Answers or conclusions are elusive during all of the initial stages. However, as I come to the end of a painting, I recognize what the outcome will be, and do my best to bring it forth as the final step. This is similar to the way in which a spiritual insight or understanding of a particular issue may be just out of your reach as you struggle towards it, but then becomes clear, sometimes in a rather sudden manner. The frustrations along the way, the need for persistence, and the willingness to keep at something without knowing the final result are similar in both a creative and a spiritual search, as is the sense of resolution and peace when a conclusion is achieved.
The talk goes on to explore the state of creative "flow" and the overall creative process in relation to certain states of mind--those that involve spiritual qualities such as letting go of the need to control outcomes, trust and rising above daily concerns.