We live in serious times. The last few weeks have proven just how serious, just how tragic. So, isn’t it just frivolous of me to spend my time encouraging music and poetry, painting and crafts, not to mention indulging in them myself? Categorically, I say no.
They say that it is our ability to love that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. I believe that to that we must add our creativity, and our ability to live creatively. For only by giving vent to that creative impulse and creating something of beauty can we really understand love and loving. I’m not talking about romantic love, or even love for our friends, but a kind of loving compassion, what is called by some religions agape.
Here in the UK, the EU referendum campaign has been characterised by hateful and divisive rhetoric, not to mention ignorance and misunderstanding. In the midst of all of this, a young politician is murdered. I am not trying to make a direct connection between Jo Cox’s death and the EU campaign, but it came at a time when already so much hatred and rancour were swirling around the country, swept along by misinformation and, frankly, racism.
I know it’s too simple to say that those who are filled with hate for others and anger at their own lot in life would find their epiphany in drawing a still life, or writing, or even reading, a poem. This is not a reason to give up on the Creative Life or think it a mere frippery, a middle class indulgence. Music, more than anything else, has the power to unite people and give a sense of purpose. We may have moved on from families having an evening sing song around the piano, but a love of music can still bond people together into tribes, mostly for good. Think about the last time you heard live music in a packed venue and how powerful that shared experience was.
So, let’s create, and create some more, and never stop. Our creativity is powerful, and that’s why it’s often frightening. Our creative output is something to be shared and, if only one person sees something beautiful in the finished article, then that tiny bright light might extinguish a little hatred. That’s something worth pursuing.
Until next time, I wish you happy and meaningful creating.