Friday, October 28, 2005

CREATIVITY vs. creationism

One of the most inspiring things in my life these days is the creativity of young people. When I skim through the many left-leaning blogs that I come across, I'm amazed at the freedom and expressiveness of young adults. I'm of the generation that was taught to color within the lines. We have to re-learn this freedom. For I believe that every human is born with the potential for enormous creativity. Shoot, I used to work at the local jail as a volunteer and I saw first hand what those women were able to make out of some toilet paper and torn t-shirts! There you have folks who have been using their ingenuity to hurt themselves & others. But most of us, squelched as little grasshoppers, just go mainstream and give up. We are actually embarassed to dance, sing, laugh, or make art! I see this regularly in my congregation, where resistance has been steady to the efforts of the music director and me to get them to occasionally sing without hymnals. Anyway, one of my sabbatical plans is a study of creativity. Right now I am reading Matthew Fox's book called Creativity (okay, so the title belies the theory!). I never ceased to be amazed by this de-frocked Dominican priest who is now teaching a form of worship called the techno-cosmic mass. Fox says that not only is it our divine inheritance to create, it is our responsibility. He quotes Otto Rank and Rollo May (I will read them next), and makes the connection between the spiritual and the creative. He says, "The artist is one who wants to leave behind a gift....The artist is not in denial about death.... Furthermore, the artist is not exiting quietly.... the gift is to life itself...the gift is always to God." Right now I see the autumn colors and it reminds me that awareness of death can spark creativity. Look what the trees leave behind as they go still. Read Matthew Fox's 95 Theses at