deeper still

October 23, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot about depth recently. Shallow water moves and ripples. The depths are still. And, as I know about a lot of the creative work I do, sometimes you have to sit still for hours.

This past weekend, I got to go to an arts conference here in Edinburgh. It was in every way refreshing, but I was staring at the depths of people’s work and raising my hand for about 4 artistic endeavours (music, writing, graphic design, painting). I’m not saying it’s not okay to have a lot of interests, but I do find that I can only really focus on one or two in any given season. I was also a few years ahead of some at the conference, which has gifted me with more time to explore. I don’t mind being multifaceted. However, I don’t want to be busy without a purpose. I don’t want to use an art form as a distraction from another I’m finding difficult, especially when I’m working for others and need to get a project done.

A few conversations came up this past weekend about why it is easier to create when we are sad. That being sad somehow feels deeper. One chat rested on the conclusion that you want to correct what’s causing sadness so you examine to find out. When you are happy, you aren’t wondering why you are. You simply want to enjoy it.

The Bible has a lot to say about the deep. Most of these verses appear in Job and Psalms, supporting the idea that sadness makes us sit still and consider.

The last thing I want to do when I feel “deep” is sit still and consider. I have overcome a lot of fear about creating based on negative emotions, but some still remains. Job, however, in the midst of his pain, exhorts his friends, He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light. Job 12:22

God wants us to process our pain and find a way to use it. For me, that comes most often through artistic expression or encouraging someone else going through a similar situation. We go to Him. He makes sense of it. And, even when the inexplicable sadness returns as it always does, we’re less likely to be moved so quickly by it, sitting still as the shallow ripples pass over us.

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One Response to “deeper still”

  1. Heidi Herrit said

    Thank you.

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