So, it seems I’m having quite the succession of spiritual experiences lately.
Yesterday I was putting together a vita for a teaching position I’m applying for, and I was digging back through the list of theatre productions in which I had been involved in college. To say that the list is long would be an understatement…I literally was involved in shows I don’t even remember. But, as I was rummaging through an old trunk full of stuff in order to find the information I needed, I also discovered a ton of stuff I had saved. Some of it I had saved just for its sentimental value, some I had kept to do something with later and had never gotten around to it.
I found some poetry that I had written at that time, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I was much more depressed during my college days than I remember. I also found an short story I had written based upon an extremely difficult relationship I found myself involved in during those years. I think that relationship was the source of my depression, and God knows I had the whole “tortured artist” thing happening at that point, but it caused such a flashback that I just sat in the living room floor forever, absorbed in reading those old words. Had Karen not been engrossed in the second Eragon book, I think she would have been concerned.
After reading the vacuum that was in my soul when I penned that poetry, I’m not so sure I was a Believer at the time. There was no redemption in what I wrote, no light at all. I held only despair and darkness. I suppose it fits, because I flirted with such a gothic image during those years that that’s what everyone else thought, anyway.
Well, I suppose my obsession with Edgar Allen Poe probably helped.
But I think I held a much more clear perspective on what God wanted me at some level, because I was in touch with that creativity, for all the angst and despair that came with it. And that, in its truest form, is what I was hard-wired to be, even if I was failing to view it through the lens of Him at the time. I find it ironic that I forsook that creativity for years, fleeing it as unrealistic, focusing on building a career and worrying about retirement instead. I felt that I had been distracted by unimportant things during that period of my life.
Ironically, I find now that I had become distracted by unimportant things when I chose to flee it.
Makoto Fujimura recently said that artists wrestle with both demons and angels. It is our curse, and our blessing. We have to be experience the pain and despair of life in order to write or paint or sing. Certainly I think we have to experience the joy and love of our Creator as well, but, ultimately, both are necessary.
I just find it odd that we can become so distracted. Perhaps its just the process of maturity.