For Those Who Are Creative (Or Not)

“Is it logical or normal that we should be afraid of the work we were created to do?”

My friend Brandee directed me to this video of Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk at a recent TED conference.

About 19 minutes, but it will fly by. I promise. I turned on the English subtitles; it helps me focus. Try it.
It’s a big statement, but I believe this is mandatory for any creative person, particularly those striving to be creative in a ministry or non-profit setting. It is a vision of inspiration worth as much as any registration fee you’ve paid for the latest and greatest high impact conference. Gilbert acknowledges just how excruciatingly difficult it can be to keep creative juices flowing – and offers up for consideration a remarkable and different (for me, anyway) perspective on the process.
I hope you’ll watch it, especially you – Kim and Jan and Terrace and Cynthia and Brian and Angie and Connie and Katie and Jenn and Sarah and Annie and Lisa and Scott and Eric and Mary Elizabeth and Nancy….

The Other Bald Guy

My friend/coworker/fellow musician has created a cool new web site.

He’s bald, see.  And two other guys on our staff are also pretty much bald.  But since my friend/coworker/fellow musician buddy lives in the background most of the time, he’s known as “the other bald guy”.
You gotta work with what you’ve got.  Go check it out.

Latching On To Who You’d Like To Be

My brother is an artist, in the truest sense of the word.  The best and worst of him flows out of the rawness of his continual search for truth, the pursuit of a high melodic calling that clings to his soul and refuses to let go.  His faith informs everything about him with an authenticity that is as questioning and doubtful as often as it is passionate and reverent.  I am prouder of him than anyone else I know.  I love him fiercely, in the manner of love that an older sister carries for her little brother for a lifetime. 

He wrote some stunning prose on his blog this week that moved me, inspired me, and challenged me to think about music and art and worship and composition and even race in a new and unique way.  Here’s a snippet:

The acoustic guitars thump and sing, fat and gray in the company of angelic harmonies and archetypal melodies. We all know this music. It is written in the celtic, anglo-saxon souls of Caucasians. We have strayed and betrayed ourselves, attempting to leverage ourselves into the gladiatorial arenas of hip-hop and “modern” music, but we need to face it.

We are mountain people. Even the most mixed breed of us is stuck with the pipes and the drums from the highlands, pounding wild and distant in our hearts. The grouse and heather cling to our thighs as we run, as we flail to flee our past.

Emmylou, and artists like her bring those pasts back to confront our empty, unanchored eyes. We have drifted, for we have forgotten who we are, and when you can’t remember who you are, it’s even more difficult to latch on to who you’d like to be. It recedes in the distance, fleeing your reaching, outstretched hand.

You can read the rest of this post here.  When you do, say ‘hi’ for me.  And tell him I’m proud of him.