reflections on creativity

Our church started a two-year year-thru-the-Bible plan today.  (If you're interested in joining us, you can learn more here.)

Today's passages were the first version of the creation story and Psalm 1.  Two of my favorites.  I've been fascinated with the creation story since the first time I read it in one of those illustrated picture books, probably when I was 4 or 5.  It came into even clearer focus during one of the best preaching classes I've ever had the privilege to attend.

Our professor came to class a little late one day (intentionally), poked his head into the classroom, grinned, and said, "Come and follow me."  And left.  We all looked at each other, and then packed up our stuff and followed him.  He took us to the Chapel.  Sat on the top step.  We all sat down around him - at his feet.  And he began to teach.  He told us the creation story - from memory.  And then he told us John 1 - also from memory.  And all of a sudden, there were pieces of the story, patterns, rhythms, parallels that I'd never seen before.  It was incredible.  Beautiful.  Creative.  Inspiring.

I love that God's Word is that creative.  (He's the God who creates by speaking - it makes sense that His Book would be creative, too.)

And His Word says that we're created in His image - something about us reflects, mirrors, images Him.  A piece of that is that we are all creative - we love to make things, think things up, do things - we have to.  It's who we are.   Painters, dancers, construction workers, software engineers, architects, inventors, scientists, musicians, writers - we all wake up every day with the ability and desire to create.... something.

It is one of the reasons why, when we are not creating, when we are just going thru the motions, just doing our jobs, focused on task lists and getting thru the day, that we become restless, unhappy, and less ourselves.

I have not been very creative these past few months.  There are reasons for that.  Some of them valid.  Most of them lame.  Last night I sat down intentionally and spent an hour working on a song.  There's only a verse and a chorus and two lines of another verse to show for it (and of course they're lines for the middle of the verse, so the challenge now is how to get to them logically and creatively) - but they're lines worth keeping.  And I felt more like myself than I have in a really long time.

I love the poetic beauty of the lines in Psalm 1.  God's children are like trees, planted by water, that bring forth fruit in their season.  In season.  Mmm.  Sometimes I forget in those dry, unhappy seasons that they are only that - seasons.  My roots, tho, go deep, and the river of life from which I draw my life is a flawless source - He never fails.

And on that note:

Have a wonderful, creative, and spring-like day!


i went adventuring today.

it was... fun.  wet, mind you.  but fun.

a few weeks ago, a good friend and i went on what we called a "pseudo-epic Sabbath adventure." it was amazing.  literally one of the best days of my life.  (i hope to (finally) be able to write about it soon.)

and one of the places we went that day was a neighborhood in Chi-town called "Wicker Park."  it's super-trendy; known for music, fashion and art - totally my kind of place.  honestly - i'm a country girl at heart, but if i were ever to live in a city, this is one of the places in which i'd be at home.

so i went back today.  i had three possible destinations in mind.  one of them was The Boring Store.  it was one of the places my friend and i had meant to go, but they were closed by the time we got there.  i thought about stopping in - i mean, it's amazing, and i really want to go - but it just didn't feel right, going without him.  so i skipped it, and headed directly to one of the other places on my list: Myopic Books.  so glad i did.  i was literally less than a block from the store when one of the biggest storms i've seen for awhile swept through town. granted, we haven't seen a lot of storms this summer, but it was big enough that i got completely covered in dirt from the wind that whipped thru before the rain started, and i was extremely grateful to be indoors during the worst of the downpour.

and it was a lovely place to be stranded.

80,000+ titles to choose from.  super-cool building - it used to be a jewelry shop, and the iron bars that used to section off part of the store are still there, and the mystery section is in the vault downstairs (sadly, it was closed today, so i didn't get to see it, but how cool is that?!).  jazz music.  reading nooks.  did i mention 80,000+ titles to choose from?  just imagine how many shelves that takes, and how lost you can get in them...

i came home with 2 "new" used treasures:  A Live Coal in the Sea - a Madeleine L'Engle book I haven't read yet!!  and Gluten-Free Girl - which I am totally looking forward to reading.  a healthier lifestyle is on the horizon, and I think this book (and her blog) may be key to it.

the other place i meant to go (and didn't) was a coffee house called "SIP" - but as it was raining, and part of the charm is their garden, i decided to skip it.  we'll save that for a day when i have a sunny afternoon to spend blogging outdoors.  so i ended up at Starbucks, as usual, because i had a gift card and the chai was therefore "free" (yay!) - and because it was less than 20 yards from the parking spot i'd snagged (after much driving about).

it probably wasn't the holiest Sabbath ever.  but being out of the house - out of town, even - was a very good thing after this long, long week.  i needed a change of scene, and He knew it.  and i'm betting the books i found will be worth the long drive.  even the drive itself was worth it...

i've missed taking road trips with Jesus.  so many of them lately have been so short.  i am long overdue for a week-long one.  maybe in September.  maybe.  spiritually - it's a really great idea.  financially - maybe not so much....  :/

so that's one for the prayer hopper....

anyway.  not much of an update, i know.  but that was my day.  and somehow... somehow today mattered.  and i wanted to write about it.  so there you are.

maybe it's just that i'm learning again to have fun by myself.  so much of the past 7 months have been about learning to connect, building meaningful relationships, having (local, and deep) community again for the first time in a really long time.  today i ditched that and went back to a little bit of what my old life (a more introverted, more artsy, more solitary life) was like.  and it was good.  not great - and not without its lonelier moments - but good.  and i'm glad.