I wrote the following poem a couple years after completing Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way":
“The Artist’s Way”
Sometimes one must make his own way
Amongst the worldly cares
Without the benefit of others--
Perhaps, this is the way of the artist
For the one who sees and feels things others do not see or feel
Must walk the path of life--
There will always be an empty spot
A place without time or space
That cannot, will not, should not be filled
For this is your well from which you will draw--
A well whose depth will depend
On what you will allow to be carved from its inner core
A reservoir that will hold your heart
The heart that speaks for others--
cgs 15 November 1999
I had picked up Cameron's book in 1997 because there was a part of me that knew that with my first born's high school graduation and subsequent leaving for college later that year I'd need something to redirect the energy I'd devoted to him. I still had two sons at home, but I needed something to fill the empty spot his absence created in my life. I'd always wanted to be a "painter" artist, but did not have the gift for it. Cameron's book helped me get in touch with all the other aspects of what it means to be an artist....it's any creative endeavor. In fact, she later wrote a book called "The Artist's Way at Work". So I set about doing the exercises in the book. My enthusiasm was so great that a friend to whom I'd talked about it asked if she could join me. We started at the beginning and met weekly to share the results of the exercises. During that time I began writing children's stories and even, to my utter amazement, drew the three main characters--Poetry the Calico Cat, Gabriel the Snowman and Sandy the Dog. You can read their stories at The Adventures of Calico the Cat.
It was as though a well had opened up and all sorts of things I did not know existed in me came forth. But I soon discovered, as I reveal in my poem, that it can be a lonely life to be an artist if you do not surround yourself with other like-minded people. My friend moved away, and I was never able to replace her role in my life. People who are not willing to open themselves up to that "empty spot" where their creativity resides, too often are threatened by yours it seems.
I think this is true also of spiritual growth. People who are used to having faith in the power of the material world become uneasy when you begin to talk of faith in the power of God--the unseen world. That is why scripture speaks of not neglecting to come together to encourage one another. Community, whether it's an artist's community or a spiritual community, provides a safe place in which to grow our creative spirits.
God needs more artists in this world--those who reach into their souls and share what they find there for the benefit of not only themselves but others. With all that mankind has achieved, it's obvious, having been made in God's image (Genesis 1:26), we are co-creators with Him.
Father, may I be open to the work You are doing in and through me to create a better world in whatever capacity You've planned for me.
Inspiration video: Four Chicks and a Muse
Link to scripture: http://niv.scripturetext.com/ephesians/3-14.htm
Take action: The Artist's Way