The Process of Becoming (Part 1)

So, if we really are committed to seeing our inner visions become a reality some things will have to happen. There is a “how” to the “what.” Of course, today, we live in a culture seeped in the how. We love to fix things with our knowledge. Of course there are some systems in place for the advancement of the arts. There are “players” in the game that we need to meet. There are processes we need to follow. There are things we simply have to do and a certain order to it.

While this is painfully obvious what is not is the “when” and the “who.” Those too hasty to get into the how will underestimate the vital importance of knowing the right who at the right time. This is the creative side to the how some know nothing about. No matter one’s religious persuasions or mystical sensibilities there is no denying a sense of reverence for timing. Everyone has experienced at one time or another a great thing at the wrong time. Circumstantial realities matter.

And there is absolutely something to the funneling effect of momentum. In other words, the longer we think about doing something and start taking the small steps to get there, we get more and more focused. We have limited ourselves to a focused reality. And soon, like a bike finally getting to the apex of the hill, we start to sense that liberating exhilaration of downward momentum. All the choices and deliberate work of going up the hill have paid off. Now we are experiencing “flow.”

What made us start the ride up the hill at this point? What made it worth it not to give up? What inspired the vision of what was on the other side of the mountain? Life was leading us to a discovery point about ourselves. Life itself had organized our circumstances to bring us to such a point. Basically it feels like an existential crisis of some sort. The beginning of a project is always emotionally dreadful. It brings us to the very bottom of our core. But it also brings us to the realization that there are certain things we must pursue to truly discover who we really are. The painful part is that these are usually not the things we are currently doing. Our being-ness depends on it.

It is essential to remember the “what” (whatever the project is) is ultimately not debatable. There are certain things we simply must do. There are certain innate callings within us that if not heeded will disorientate the rest of life. That is the ultimate vindication for the artist. When asked “why do you do this project?” there is only one answer. “It is what life has called me to do. It has been wired into my being-ness before and beyond me. I do it because I must.”

It’s not self-justification. And it’s not self-realization the way most people understand it (whimsically doing what I want to figure myself out). It’s doing something we feel we must even though its scares us to our very core and requires great sacrifice. Oddly what we sacrifice is not ourselves (for that is what we incidentally find), it is the control of ourselves. We must relinquish the right to control the gift. The how and the when do not belong to us. That lack of control can be absolutely freeing though.

We learn to trust that the gift itself has a life outside of us. In other words, though it was implanted (or entrusted) in us (to us), it had an existence before us and will beyond us. We are the carriers but the gift must live on. It must continue to create.

We are part of the story. We can only see what our limited brain capacity is allowed. The big picture alone can vindicate the individual works. But know this: the power of inevitability is what has created all good things. Being is better than non-being.

Comment