A Thought Provoking Quote

I am on a creative journey which was started by an attempt to create a space for my own emotional health while caregiving. Melinda and I have been exploring art, specifically pottery. She picked up The Artist’s Way at a book store. I ordered mine on Amazon. The completed copy we found on Mom’s bookshelf remains unopened until we have completed our own workbooks.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has set their creativity aside for any reason. It is a path back to discover the creativity inside once again or for the first time. It doesn’t matter which art form you choose; the creative way applies to any of them, to my writing as much as to my painting and pottery. It is all about taking risks, trying new things, and not being afraid to have fun in the process of growth. It is one of those books from which you will learn something each time you read it. Now that my book review is over….haha…I want to share a quotein the book that has me equally inspired and frightened.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ~Martha Graham

This little gem sits silently on the corner of a page, as if it is just words like any other quote. It stops me in my tracks, gaining my full attention. Stares at me from the page. It burns my eyes. Marinates in my mind. Issues a challenge…“only one of you in all time…if you block…it will never exist…will be lost.” I question its truthfulness. I mull. I think. I wonder.

If I don’t write the words, will they be lost for all time? If I don’t create the art, will colors fade and be dull? If I do not shape the clay, will my vessels be missed? If I block the flow that stirs within me, will the world have a void? The frightening answer is yes.

How many times have I said, “I’ll do it later”? How many times have I thought, I don’t have the talent? The time? The money? What are these excuses doing for the world? They are blocking my God-given unique expression. Do I really have the power to withhold the gifts I have been given and keep them only to myself? Yes. That is the scary part of the quote. Lost for all time. I have the power to choose not to exist in the future. I have the power to erase myself. By not creating.

Sitting and talking about creating isn’t the same thing as doing it. Reading about art doesn’t count for making it. Even admiring it and appreciating it is different than putting your hand to the work. The Creator made me like himself in that he gave me a passion (words, paint, clay) with which to influence the world around me for the good. By telling myself my art isn’t good enough, or it is not for others to read, or it is too elementary to share, or I am not a creative person, I am blocking him from moving through me. I don’t know about you, but that isn’t something that appeals to me.

If He is the Potter and I am the clay (this has taken on a whole new meaning to me as of late) I must yield to his hand. Turns out, as I have recently learned, the clay can fight the potter. It can refuse to center. It can be off balance which causes the whole piece to lose its shape. It can collapse on itself. It can fold under pressure. There are so many ways the clay can resist the potter. However, a Master Potter (which I am nowhere near) can mold and shape the stubborn clay at will. Mainly, because a Master knows the clay well. Experience shows the potter how to coax it into the perfectly balanced vessel that is as useful as it is beautiful.

If I refuse to step out and use the creative force which has been planted within me, I am blocking the Creator. It’s a simple truth, with a profound implication. I am important. I am valuable. What I share of my creativity is needed for such a time as this. Allowing fear and lack of confidence to block it is on me. My choice. My excuses. My refusal. Stepping out with the courage to create is an act of trust. Creativity is a spiritual discipline. It builds my faith and calls me to a path of impacting the world. How can I refuse?  

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