Moondance,  Celebrating Creative Women
Summer 99 Volume 3, Edition 4
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Feeding the Flames Of Creativity

"When we deliberately leave the safety of the shore of our lives, we surrender to a mystery beyond intent."

Ann Linnea, "Deep Water Passage"

In the softness of a warm summer morn, the gentle soul unfolds. By noon, when the heat is rising, it takes a stauncher soul to face its searing fire. Yet fire is the catalyst which hardens clay into eternal beauty, melts metal into magnificent art. And it is fire which teaches the soul to be both strong and supple, knowing when to bend and when to stand tall.

It is also the beacon which lights our way and guides our spiritual renewal. In Your Mythic Journey, Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox comment upon our unknown self. "Consciousness is like a lantern on a dark night illuminating everything within a circle. When it's carried from one place to another some new obscurity surrounds the circle of clarity. What we know about ourselves is in continual dialogue with darkness. Self-knowledge and ignorance are linked because of the selective structure of the human mind. In focusing attention on one thing we ignore another."

Unable to ignore either her children or creativity, Lilla Cabot Perry, the American impressionist painter who introduced the works of her friend Claude Monet to America, likened her passion to create with an explosion of fiery frustration. In Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach recounts Lilla's story. "Lilla was thirty when she painted her first picture--a portrait of her baby, Margaret. She thought painting might offer her the creative expression she craved after it became necessary to abandon poetry because "it was too absorbing an occupation for a mother of three small children." But painting allowed her to merge motherhood and art, for her work celebrated what she knew and loved best: her children. Eventually her painting became as much a part of the family's daily round as eating and sleeping, as she cleverly enticed her little models to stand still by paying them each a nickel an hour. Later Lilla admitted her passion for self-expression reminded her of a "a cook stove which has too much coal in it and has to have one of the holes open to keep it from becoming red-hot. It did not matter whether it was the poetry hole or the painting hole, but the lid had to come off."

Preceding creative expression is the silent season that incubates our thoughts. Gunilla Norris, in Sharing Silence, related silence to the fiery burst from which the universe and our own creation was born. "In each of us, there is a silence, a silence as vast as the universe. We are afraid of it. And we long for it. And when we experience that silence, we remember who we are. Creatures of the stars, created from the birth of galaxies, created from the cooling of this planet, created from dust and gas, created from the elements, created from time and space, created from silence. Silence is the source of all that exists, the unfathomable stillness where vibration began, the first oscillation, the first word, from which life emerged. Silence is our deepest nature, our home, our common ground, our peace. Silence reveals, silence heals. Silence is where God dwells. We yearn to be there. We yearn to share it."

Whether we yearn for the soft warmth of silence or the searing heat of creative expression, we can find our inspiration in the influences of Summer where eternal beauty and magnificent art become one--in nature and in our soul. Strong and supple, our passions allow for both standing tall and bending to meet the fires of life.

By Loretta Kemsley
Women Artists and Writers International
Writer, Editor and Editorial Coach

Loretta Kemsley's Personal Portfolio: Women's Writings

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