[This is a guest post from the lovely Lisa Field-Elliot]
I went for a walk today. After a morning of squeezing and gripping, going for a walk was the only Big Creative Act that I felt certain I could accomplish.
One foot in front of the other up the trail, the sun warmed my shoulders, a hummingbird zoomed by my face, and still I felt agitated. I turned on my iPod. A song and a voice that I needed to hear played into my ears and I was suddenly quieted. Overcome and crying, actually. Something in me let go.
This is what creative expression does: it takes over the moment of indecision, of headspace and contraction, and it gives movement, voice, productivity, to our emotional inertia. Creativity is the walk in the sun, the words, the images, the food, the sweat, the howl, the sculpted proof that we all need to explain our aliveness. And it connects us; especially those of us born with what can feel like too much. Too much sight, too many pores, too much weight.
Our creative expression is the svaha of our prayers; it is the tossing of masala into the fire. It is the way we balance and find stasis. Sometimes it is just a plea for sanity. Sometimes it feels like a small nod or a wave, sometimes a strike or a glowing accusation to beauty. A dare. An inquisition. A test. A manifesto and a proclamation. An act of desperation, or an offering on a copper plate circled in marigolds. Sometimes it is just stopping to notice our own reflection in the glass-paned door. Whatever it is, creative expression unleashes, gives voice to what we wonder, feel, know, and experience; and it becomes, in the moment of manifestation, the only thing that matters.
Today, as I sat on the edge of the trail and manically one-thumb typed this on my iPhone, I had a moment of relief from my own internal chaos. I was pulled out of the smallness of my story by the creative genius of another, and moved to unburden myself with my own writing. And that, right there, is what I am talking about. I had a few minutes of being overcome and letting go, leading me to epiphany and no-thing-ness. Somehow, I felt connected and part of the will of creation just to flow and not to know. In that moment of creation, I felt joy. And if that isn’t the point of being alive then, quite frankly, I don’t know what is.
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Lisa Field-Elliot is a humanitarian photographer and writer seeking travel, beauty, and connection. She shares her experiences, in words and images, at doorwaystravler.com with the hope of, perhaps, inspiring you to look for doorways to freedom in your own life.