People "heal" because creativity is healthy--and practicing it, they find their greater selves.~Julia Cameron (From The Artist's Way)
I'd ordered the book years ago. Someone had recommended it to me, saying the material had opened them up to their own creativity. But the book had come into my life when I was too sad to read, when even books couldn't revive me. I lifted The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron from the box where it lay stashed for all those years and opened to the introduction. I read, "Art is a spiritual transaction. Artists are visionaries. We routinely practice a form of faith, seeing clearly and moving toward a creative goal that shimmers in the distance--often visible to us, but invisible to those around us."
I burst into tears. It was as if God sat down beside me, took my hand in His and said, "I see you and understand you. Go ahead. Write. If you don't create the story, nobody will. Writing is my gift to you. Give yourself permission to create the story. I'll help you, my spirit hovering over you, breathing life into the work." I cried harder, the velocity of His affection toward me relentless and tender. (Passage from my book, The Light By Which We See)
The first time I read and worked through the chapters of The Artist's Way was in 2009. I repeated the process in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The tools Ms. Cameron teaches are invaluable to me. I use them every day on my creative pathway. I mine new concepts from the material each time I make my way through the book's pages. Ms. Cameron often speaks of synchronicity, that mysterious concept of simultaneous occurrences which appear significantly related but have no causal connection. Yesterday in the mail, I received a set of notecards and envelopes from artist friends. The image on the notecards was created by Alex Radin who designed the art for my website and two of my bookcovers. On the front of the card, a cube of ice sits in an ephemeral sea, the water streaked with shades of lavender, violet and indigo. The sky is ablaze with golden, coppery light, a shimmering sun gilding ethereal clouds. Inside the ice cube is a glass pot, a rectangle of black ink frozen on the bottom of the container. A quill pen with delicate purple feathers pierces the ice cube, the tip of the pen penetrating the block of ink. Water drips from the melting cube, and ink flows into the sparkling sea. The piece is entitled, "The Thaw."
I couldn't stop looking at the image thinking that the ink pot was somehow symbolic for me--sychronous--as on Monday, I begin The Artist's Way once again, this time with my sister. And once again, I'm reminded that art is a spiritual transaction, and that the velocity of God's affection toward all of us is relentless and tender.