Several days a week, my Creative Writing Prose students draw their pens from their scabbards, turn to a blank page in their journal, and begin littering the clean, white page with words that come straight from their imaginations. There is no middleman or weigh station for these words on their route from cerebrum to sheet. No filter but the one the student fashions for him or herself. It is a rewarding exercise – an opening of the floodgates, if you will. The stream of consciousness may begin as a mere trickle, but given room to flow this tributary soon becomes a torrent once the creative juices, which have lain frozen all night, thaw and gush and jump the banks.
I’m continually struck by the level of creativity that lies dormant in the minds of so many people. I think the routine of life, sometimes on purpose but sometimes unintentionally, causes us to neglect the seed of creativity planted within us. Sure, some are born to be “artists” (like the students in my Prose class), but I believe that seeking to awaken our individuality, and by extension our own internal artistry, is a healthy pursuit worthy of anyone from poet to plumber.
The creative mind is essential to recognizing this world of wonder. If we hold a terminal view of the routine and the commonplace, then our lives will regularly sink beneath the mundanity of each day. On the contrary, if we choose to believe that mystery exists within each day – as opposed to existing separate from it – then even a seemingly unremarkable quotidian agenda is infused with possibility, the potential to encounter the Great Mystery. We begin to realize that discovery is more often gradual than instantaneous, that revelation comes in degrees. Even when we open the floodgates on the surge of our creativity, the truth is that we find ourselves only able to express bits and pieces rather than the lot of IT. But better IT come little by little than not at all.
Each day is another brushstroke upon the canvas and, as each little lineament and feature receives shape and color, there is the slow recognition that what gazes back at us is no ordinary, created face at all; IT is the face of God.