It is an ember. To the eye it is ashen. Nothing more than a coal really. Dead. Of no consequence. But that is in appearance only. One breath. One little bit of wind, and it glows red hot. What was without life, suddenly finds expression.
It must be fed of course. More breath. More oxygen. A note. A word. A brush stroke. It starts as a feeling, more than an idea. It becomes as it expands. A line. A chord. A sentence.
Blow on it. Let the glow grow. A melody. A paragraph. A sketch. The words float around waiting to be caught. The colors roll onto the palate. The notes sing to themselves until they are heard.
Soon, the ember is breathing on its own. Red. Gray. Red. Gray. The pulse is evidence of life. The life is apart from the breath, though the two are still intricately linked. Without the breath, the ember dies. Without the ember, the breath has no manifestation. What once was cold is radiating heat.
Then the spark kindles. In a moment, it ignites. The dying ember, brought back to life by the breath. It is combustible and the flame rises up. The colors swirl on the canvas. They are alive. The words cascade onto the page. They speak. The notes flow into the air. They vibrate.
There is no stopping them now. The flicker is burning full force. There is hardly time to feed the blaze as it grows. Ideas. Thoughts. Tunes. One adds to another. The piece is running ahead. The creator, trying to keep up. The flow of the flame is in motion. It cannot be stopped. Who is doing the creating? The creator or the creation? They swirl together until it cannot be discerned where one starts and the other ends. They stir one another into the masterpiece of the moment.
In the moment. In the flow. The spirit rises up. It paints. It plays. It writes. It delivers a message. The ember, if you haven’t guessed by now, is creativity. It breathes life into us and we into it. Our souls come alive as it pulses through us. It is a tangible presence, and when welcomed by our breath and given space, there are no limits to its potential.
However, the opposite is also true. It will die if we do not blow on the ember. In the current environment, do not neglect the breathing. Do not separate so far apart that the coal goes dark. When the flame is burning we are most like The Creator. That is by design. If we do not feed this part of ourselves, we will shrivel up. Our hope will fade away and sorrow will overtake us.
The final product isn’t the point. It may be spectacular or not. It is the creative process itself which feeds our souls. To deny it access to our hearts because of the heaviness of the day, is to deny ourselves life. The very breath we breathe is the fuel it needs to grow.
Though our embers have been spread apart, and though they may look dead, it only takes a little breath to kindle the burn once again. Stoke the flame. Find your fuel. Pick up your brush. Your instrument. Your pen. Let the creation breathe life into you…the creator.