4.02.2012

Monday's Measure: Tulips in the Window, a Metaphor for Creative Inspiration

Red tulips and striped curtains

"Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish."
--Michelangelo

I made a big mess on my work table this weekend and casually moved these red beauties to the window to be out of my way. Later I turned around and was smitten by the way they had already stretched out, unashamedly, to reach for the sun.

Oh that I might do the same! Open myself to be filled with Truth and Beauty, unafraid of my own fragile little self and my inability to perfectly, completely reflect that Glory.

I love that Michelangelo apparently prayed for more inspiration than he was able to handle, more ideas than he was capable of translating into art. When I think of the masters, I think of the way many of them were tormented by their work. After all, the classic biography of Michelangelo (and the Charlton Heston Film!) is called The Agony and the Ecstasy. Apparently to him, the ecstasy of that divine inspiration was worth the struggle of being the frail human vessel through out of which the Glory poured like a fountain.

I remembered this quote today after watching this interesting talk given by Elizabeth Gilber, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. She says,
"We have internalized and accepted collectively that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked--that artistry, in the end, will always lead to anguish [...] Is it rational, is it logical that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work they feel they were put on this earth to do?
[...] Maybe [artistry] doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe, in the first place, that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you. But maybe if you just believed that they were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along when you’re finished [...] it starts to change everything.”
My sweet red tulips weren't worried about what they were going to do with the sun, nervous that they couldn't use it wisely enough or enjoy it to the perfect degree.  No, they just soaked it in--craned their little necks to get the best view possible, and just looked and looked and looked until their lives were utterly spent in the seeking of joy.

May an overwhelming "measure" of joy (and creative inspiration!) also fall upon you on this Monday--"pressed down, shaken together and running over"...enough to "pour" into the "lap" of your entire week! (Luke 6:38)






Linking with Much Love MondaysMultitudes on Mondays

11 comments:

  1. Oh Sadee, your words--so beautiful that I find myself tearing up. You have such a way of sharing that speaks to the deepest part of my soul. I love coming here.
    Catherine Denton

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    1. I love your visits too! Thank you, as always, for such encouraging words.

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  2. Lovely said - and I love the tulips! :-)

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  3. Beautiful!! Your words and the tulips strike a chord with my heart today. Thanks.

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  4. yes yes yes
    love these sentiments
    such beautiful truth

    thank you for sharing your lovely flowers and words with us today Sadee

    love and light

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    1. I am always so encouraged by your words, Cat. Thank you!

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  5. What a beautiful comparison! Love it. And I love that quote.

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Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!