A First Corinthians Thirteen for Creativity

People think creativity is all about freedom. In reality it’s slavery. They think it’s about showing off your talents and your tools. It’s actually about discovering how inadequate you are and how uninteresting your tools are. They think it’s about the meat of what you say. It’s actually about what you leave unsaid. They think it’s about earth. It’s really about ether.

Musicians focus on sounds, but the silences, especially those sounding simultaneous with their sounds, are more important. Writers think their work is about the words that make it into the final draft, but it’s really not even about everything that was cut out, but everything that was never said.

The reason is that silence and the unsaid are the prime engagers of our spirits. We don’t like to be preached at; we like to be thought-provoked. Jackson Pollock and noise music are perhaps the closest art has ever come to the infinite, but even these fall short of it—Pollock has white spaces between his splatters (and all colors add up to black anyway, which isn’t infinite) and even the noisiest piece of noise can’t contain all possible frequencies (and even if it could, these total would be beyond the range of our hearing).

Likewise God. Rather than flatten us with preaching-at, with all frequencies, with infinity, he leaves it almost all unsaid. He just gives glimpses that self-construct in our minds into constructs of the beyond. He leaves us with these yearnings, these illogical experiences, half-remembered visions and fragments of what were waking dreams, in hopes perhaps that we will heart-see the implications. We may mind-see them, but this is less likely.

His universe, like all good art, points beyond—but only points; doesn’t preach. The beyond? The beyond is him. Stop pushing him away and let him whisper; let him in.

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