Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Breaking Rules Like an Artist

July 12, 2010

I like Caroline Myss‘ anecdote about her epiphany regarding creative writing. She included it on page 43 of her book, Sacred Contracts, to make the point that some people may come into our lives only briefly yet still have a significant impact.

I can still recall a brief exchange with a high school English teacher who cornered me after class one day to offer me some advice on both my writing style and my attitude. At the time I was carrying on a love affair with (more…)

The Whisper Which Is Heard By You Alone

June 5, 2010

Intuition is the wellspring of creative inspiration. Every artistic achievement originated with the same creative impulse that produced all of existence.

To the artist is sometimes granted a sudden, transient insight which serves in this matter for experience. A flash, and where previously the brain held a dead fact, the soul grasps a living truth! At moments we are all artists.
Arnold Bennett

Encourage this creative impulse to take root inside you, allow it to (more…)

Rainier Maria Rilke on Creativity and Living the Mystery

October 6, 2009

Rainier Maria Rilke

I was so taken by this passage in Letters to a Young Poet by Rainier Maria Rilke, one of the German language’s greatest poets, that I felt compelled to share it here. These ten now-famous letters from Rilke to a young military student named Franz Xaver Kappus, written from 1903 to 1908, have inspired countless thousands of seekers to look within themselves for the truth they thirst for and cannot live without.

The following excerpt, written so beautifully and poetically, is from a 1984 version of Letters to a Young Poet that was translated by Stephen Mitchell.

“The thought of being a creator, of engendering, of shaping” is nothing without its continuous great confirmation and embodiment in the world, nothing without the thousand-fold assent from Things and animals—and our enjoyment of it is so indescribably beautiful and rich only because it is full of inherited memories of the engendering and birthing of millions.

In one creative thought a thousand forgotten nights of love come to life again and fill it with majesty and exaltation. And those who come together in the nights and are entwined in rocking delight perform (more…)

Parker Palmer on Creativity and Granddaughters

March 29, 2009

Parker Palmer

In yesterday’s post, Parker Palmer shared his story of a spiritual epiphany, which I included in my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. In the same interview, however, he told me two other insightful stories he told me that you won’t find in the book. I’m happy I can share them here.

My second story of feeling connected to spirit is a recurring one that has to do with my life as a writer. I usually find writing very difficult and demanding, an ordeal of slogging through mud and fog, trying to bring clarity to complicated matters. But every now and then I am caught up in a creative flow of powerful ideas and images in which writing becomes effortless and totally engaging. I had an experience like that a few weeks ago when I found myself writing fifteen hours a day for ten straight days. I was getting less sleep than usual, yet I was feeling more alive, more energized, and more rested than I normally do. In stretches like that, you know you’re connected with something larger than yourself. You’re no longer reaching for it. Now it is reaching for you—holding you and propelling you in the way the ocean supports a swimmer. It’s a remarkable experience—and then it’s back to slogging through the mud! I find evidence of spirit even when I am slogging, if in nothing more than the will to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But those oceanic breakthroughs are overwhelming evidence that—although I have to show up and swim—creativity is not something I do all by myself.

My third story involves being fully present to my granddaughter, Heather, now fourteen, with whom I’ve been very close since the earliest days of her life. Being a grandparent is an extraordinary experience, and the spiritual dimensions of it seem pretty clear to me. For one thing, (more…)