The End of Hope (part 4)

For most creative people the answer to that question (see The End of Hope Part 3) is governed by your imagination and gifts. Woven into your fabric is sort of a pesky dream, a lofty one seemingly out of the realm of possibility or reason (thus secluded to the imagination). Most mistakenly assume that's a place of “make-believe.” On the contrary the imagination is the home of reality before its public debut. The imagination alone is the human faculty capable of vision, seeing outside of what currently is.

Our gifts also help focus this intent dreaming. Although we did not ask for our gifts they are there, and they are demanding. However dormant certain ones may lie, the imagination has a way of rekindling them, utilizing them without our permission.

It’s almost as if the imagination has free access to mobilize our gifts when we are asleep. They conspire together to #StartAWar in us, to shake us out of our dormant comfort and securities, to mess with us - in the best way possible.

The gifts in us will not always make sense. Some will seem completely disconnected from the others. We will think we have figured out everything there is to know about a certain one, but then another develops and the context is completely changed.

Our gifts do not always match. An intense love of rock music with intense curiosity about entrepreneurism, for instance. Many would look at the two things and say either “pick one” or “those two things are interesting but unconnected."

The good news is our job isn’t necessarily to connect them. We do not force some strange intersections (in this example “how to ‘start up’ your band project”). We simply pursue each interest area to see where it may lead us.

It will not always be a sensible place with a clearly defined path. It shouldn’t be. If we are intently listening to our gifts it will lead to some strange new territory. And the divergent paths may not connect nicely to one another.

*That’s where life itself sort of picks up the difference. At times we will get consumed in discovering and almost “producing” our gifts for the world. It is work in the best sense of the term. But, it is still work. Work without rest is exhausting.

There will be rest! And play! These things done in community give life the layers that creative people need in order to sustain “gift production.” We willingly exhaust ourselves for our self-defined goals and initiatives.

That is not the point. The point is the sustained cultivation of a creative life. We don’t want to be one and done. We don’t want to be one-hit wonders. We also don’t want to be meat-grinder artists who for commercial exploitation are put through the ringer.

That leaves life in all its beautiful mystery. The exploration of beauty, friendship, community, God, love, support, truly caring for and encouraging one another. This is and has been the only key to sustaining creativity since the dawn of time, literally! 

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