Sometimes, I get this feeling that all of the songs, lyrics or pieces of music that I will ever write, have already been written. They lie like bones, under a thin crust of Earth. Waiting to be revealed, to be discovered by the Archeology of expression. Art, brought to life – using just relaxed presence, a quietened mind and an honest heart.
That’s how creativity works in me. I allow the feeling, the notion, or the idea to just float around. Feeling it, being with it. Whatever is challenging or inspiring me in my life at that point. And then, as I allow my attention to wander in a fertile moment, a gentle breeze blows away some dust, exposing something. Stones? Or bones.
If its bones, then I begin to pay more attention, gently brushing away the dust, following what is exposed, whatever becomes interesting or inspiring. Or, if nothing comes, if its stones, I meander off to a different spot and begin to explore again. Soon, the fragments connect, the dots begin to join, the bigger picture emerges and suddenly, there it is. The song is made manifest. Brought in to the realm of sensory perception to be heard. To be healed and inspired by. And perhaps, to leave the listener moved, to something deeper. Something real.
I marvel at this new baby, this new chunk of expression. I am in awe and I often ask,
“where did this come from?”
” Am ‘I’ the songwriter, am ‘I’ an Artist, am ‘I’ a Musician?”.
What does being creative mean?
The dictionary defines the word creative as; [relating to, or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something].
So then, what is the source of our imagination? From what or where do we get ‘flashes’ of inspiration. and does it happen to us, or do we happen to it? Is it the subconscious or the superconscious?
Exploring this mystery is one of the most exciting parts of the creative process for me. It means that not only has music and expression become my spiritual practice, it also relieves me of any great attachment to the work. It doesn’t have to be my music. It is just the music. I discovered it. I didn’t invent it.
A musical Archeologist or ‘Arteologist’, following a creative flow, putting my attention on what life lesson or situation I’m in. Whatever is relevant to me and my life at the time. Almost like consulting an oracle, with no concern for others opinions, criticisms or judgements. Nothing is personal. If I can relinquish ownership in a creative sense – to not have the music be mine, to drop the need to have it be a reflection of ‘who I am’, then I don’t feel I have to take credit for it. It was always there. I have just revealed it. It belongs to creation itself. In this way the music can be completely honest and vulnerable. I can find the courage to write about the difficult, painful and also the ecstatic and joyous, without inhibition. Then It becomes a part of my healing. Then it is therapeutic. I get to release pain, fear, wounds and trauma, through this process, through this connection to the creative energy of life itself.
But it gets better! The act of expression, true, authentic expression, means that I get to share my inner world with anyone that wishes to know. And really, what do they ultimately want to know? That their own inner world can heal and grow too.
In the realm of lyrics, rich in symbolism, metaphor and rhythm, powerful messages can be received. Great insights can occur and when music is added, when melody and harmony join the words, then our hearts are immediately activated. It is almost impossible to fight back the rise of sorrow, of joy or bliss when it comes, floating on an emotional flying carpet of soaring music. It is almost irresistible.
Music is the language of the inner world, the voice of our beings. Apart from sex and food (which are both survival driven), music is the one other way to have a shared experience of ecstasy and profound emotion. It evokes the very energy of what we really are. Loving, fragile beings, trying to find our way, trying to connect. Then expression becomes more than just our expression. More than just our creative process. Then it becomes contagious. It becomes the ‘collective creative’.
Infected by its power and potency, others begin to dig, to dust a little to see what treasure lies beneath their crust, their Earth. and so it spreads and grows… this is where things get truly creative.