(on creativity): “You’re not just a passive receptacle. And also, it’s not entirely in your hands”

I recently re-listened to the On Being interview with Elizabeth Gilbert and gleaned a whole bunch of stuff that didn’t even resonate the first time I listened to it in 2016. (I love that by the way–how we come back again and again with new eyes, as we ride the spiral of life.) Host Krista Tippett discussed Gilbert’s description of creative work as a both/and similar to “the work of a farmer” (need to put in the sweat equity) AND occasionally being sprinkled with fairy dust (look for the magic).

“[the creative process is] a collaboration between a human being’s labors and the mysteries of inspiration. And that’s the most interesting dance that I think you can be involved in. But you are very much an agent in that story. You’re not just a passive receptacle. And also, it’s not entirely in your hands. And standing comfortably within that contradiction is, I think, where you find sanity in the creative process if you can find it.”

….[T]he universe is looking for collaborators because creation’s not finished. It’s not something that happened in seven days and ended. It’s an ongoing story that we’re part of. And it’s a much more interesting way to be part of that story to work in collaboration, and in partnership, and in friendly curiosity with it than to be terrified of it.”

-ELIZABETH GILBERT, interviewed in On Being (July 7, 2016 – Choosing Curiosity Over Fear)

I send you permission to let loose!

I sent this awesome illustration to my friend Jen who is doing the Artist’s Way journey with me (hooray!). And I thought, wow we all need to see this. Such inspiration.

Interestingly, even though I was staring at the illustration I still wrote the title of the post as “I give you permission“–but the illustration actually says I give you courage. Apparently my inner child/creative is in need of permission to join this adventure, so permission I shall give her.  You have permission to play and create! Go forth, creative one! And heck, here is some courage too!

 

Illustration by Sark

(As a funny aside, I also read the image as saying “let Louise Inside you” and it made me very confused. Perhaps I just need new glasses? 🧐)

Anyway, day three with Artist’s Way and I’m digging it big time.

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If anyone wants to join along on the Artist’s Way journey, feel free to comment and connect with me! I’m going to tag posts with “artist’s way” and feel free to do the same! Let’ play!