It seems impossible to talk about creating something without bringing a spiritual component into the discussion. I’ve already stated my case that creation is divine. No matter how you define divinity, there is something about making something new that connects you to a power bigger than yourself. The ego can only take you so far, artists are quick to admit that their gift is unexplainable, it comes from somewhere beyond themselves. Why does creativity save your life? Because creation IS life.
A look at the headlines tells us we live in a graceless age so this morning I wanted to write something about Grace, at least as I understand it. In a time where you have to be very careful using church words, least you offend the agnostic or the fervent, I can’t help but think about Grace, it defines my life. Grace has changed the way I look at the world, the way I live, the way I think.
Grace makes creation effortless, it’s when your angels type through your hands, it’s when just the right words come out at just the right time. Grace is the feeling I get on the water, when I am surrounded by dolphins and immersed in nature. It’s that all too rare feeling that we are connected to all life, that we are all one. Grace is a Mother’s forgiveness, a childs first giggle, a stranger who holds a door for you, it’s someone who knows what you mean even if you say it all wrong. Grace is answered prayers, it’s the love of your life.
Grace lasts longer than happiness, it trumps anger, it overcomes loneliness. Grace is not a temporary feeling, more than any single emotion; it is a state of being. Grace enhances emotion, it makes life better, it trumps the self. Grace is your soulmate, it’s your muse, it is your life preserver.
Throughout history the smartest minds have argued whether grace is given or earned. I’m not bright enough to join this debate, except to say, I have done almost nothing to earn grace yet it flows to me in an endless river. I’m certain that those who try to parcel out Grace or who tell me I am not earning my share are defining Grace differently than I am. I know when Grace is there, I know I will have a better day if I remember to look for it, I know that my bad days are the days when I forgot to look.
We say people “walk with grace” and that isn’t a religious term. We admire people who handle problems with Grace, we say Grace before Thanksgiving dinner, sadly, some people fall from Grace. Grace is an acknowledgment that we are more than animals, that we know how to handle adversity, that we know how to find our higher self. I’m old enough to remember when we said someone was “classy” (not in a Vegas lounge act kind of way), it meant they had Grace. People with Grace light up a room, they attract more light, they channel from a higher place.
Jealousy, possessiveness, ego, anger and hatred are the enemies of grace, yet grace can easily trounce them. Artists who remember to tune into grace hear more notes, paint with more color, they find their work going beyond ego and into the hearts of their audience. (They call it Soul Music for a reason.) When we harden our hearts, grace penetrates the wall.
Grace is the greatest of love and those of us who have lost it are doomed to spend our lives trying to forget it while, at the same time, searching madly for it again.