We don’t create to achieve or make history, no matter how we’re schooled or what we tell ourselves. We create because we have to. And the reward for creating, in any form, is that it keeps us alive. This is why we devote ourselves to art. It is our covenant with life. And like anything we devote ourselves to, we will in time become good at it. But we don’t do it to become better. We do it to become whole. For while we can get better without becoming whole, we can’t become whole without getting better.
Everywhere we look, life is burgeoning. Plants, trees, and flowers are always pushing up, breaking ground, and yearning to be. Like the seeds of the natural world, there is some innate impulse in each of us to break ground and sprout. But too often, the machinery of tradition aberrates this impulse into a compulsion to produce and achieve. And soon, we lose our lifeline to wonder.
Yet, despite the press of our ambitions, excellence is more a by-product of immersion. A dolphin breaches surface to taste the air. It doesn’t leap to be an acrobat. So yearn, sprout, and push your heart into the world. Immerse yourself and live. More than accomplished artists, the world needs impassioned creators to dive and break surface.
A Question to Walk With: Describe how one thing in nature yearns to be and then compare this with your own yearning to be.
This excerpt is from my new book, Drinking from the River of Light, just published by Sounds True.
*Photo credit: Guillaume Hank