in defiance of beauty


It takes courage to make a new thing.  It takes more courage to make something than to destroy something, use something, change something or dominate something.  Little people dominate.  We know that from history and from psychology.  I so often find that the frustration which comes from the story “I am not creative.” is what is embryonic to a destructive or selfish person’s life.

Beauty has been woven into the fabric of human existence as a temptation to life and the making of beauty is the coaxing of the creator to light the wick of our having been made in the image of a creator God.  There is no such thing as a person who cannot create or who is not creative.  There are simply people who have yet to develop their creativity or who will not create out of a fear of the success of their attempts.

Creativity is a birthing.  It is generative and dangerous.  It comes from a womb in a man or a woman and is a sign of humanity.  The people I know who are selfish or narcissistic are grabbing at things and people and experiences out of a disordered affection for beauty.  They are so smoke-filled themselves from their lack of creating, that the in-dwelled destiny to create beauty is flipped, and they become like the children in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory in which nearly every child has yet to convert greed and selfishness into a creative inclination.

When one is creating something for its existence in the world, there is little energy left to grab at the things of this world, since the disposition is to add to the beauty rather than to take it for one’s self.  The monkey grooming her friend cannot also, will not also, peel and eat a banana, for three hands would be needed and two are occupied in the self-offering to another.

Today is my Sabbath day.  To keep a sabbath is a command in the scriptures.  It takes some creativity to keep a sabbath since the chores of life need to be fit into other days.  The openness of a sabbath is part of the creative string made by God for the beauty and wellness of the earth.  Sabbath is not just about rest.  It is about being in the world in a certain way such that creativity is possible. The sabbath has a double intention it seems.  Its spaciousness re-boots human desire and, in turn, enables the human to be open to creating beauty – a dinner, a flower in a bowl, a meaningful conversation, a sexual encounter, a letter well-written, a pot like the one in the picture above in which I have taken a stone which God made and set it in the lid of a funeral urn I have made – for a friend.

Today I will make buckwheat pancakes, write a letter to a friend, sleep some, place a blog into the ether, make some pots in my studio and meet a friend for Dim Sum. There is beauty in all of it and I will look away from work with the determination of a recovering alcoholic looking away from their anesthesia-laden vodka. Beauty, and creating it, is an act of defiance against the evils of this world and today I am feeling particularly creative – and particularly defiant.

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