21 March 2012

war & peace creation

Hitler was an artist. Now I have spent much more energy reading the stories of Holocaust victims than studying the life of the fuhrer, so this was news to me when I read it in my latest read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Hitler painted and moved to Vienna to pursue his artistic endeavor but was rejected by both the Academy of Fine Arts and the School of Architecture.

Pressfield suggests, "Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I'll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas."

I don't pretend to be so wise to dare say that had he been accepted into the academy or admired as an artist, Hitler would never have authored a movement that murdered millions of people. I can't help but wonder, however, that when we give up on our dreams, when we don't overcome road blocks and live into the thing we love the most despite rejection, we have left this gaping hole of energy in our hearts that destroys us and often destroys others around us.

One of my favorite lines in one of my favorite songs of one of my favorite musicals RENT says, "the opposite of war isn't peace; it's creation" ("La Vie Boheme"). Jonathan Larson certainly had a good thought going there. And I'd like to also suggest that the opposite of creation is war.

Quite literally,the opposite of destroying life, buildings, countries, is giving birth, building, forming. Also literally, we land in physical battles when we lack the creativity to push toward creating more peaceful resolves. But metaphorically, we go into battle with the deepest parts of our souls when we fail to give life to the creations within us. We destroy ourselves, and that can play out in negative self-talk, being stuck in our careers, substance abuse, physical and emotional harm to others, self-hatred that becomes external, illness, the list goes on and on. We are created to create, and we perish when we do not.

Creating looks different for everyone: creating a new you, creating cures to diseases, creating microfinancing opportunities for those with low income and resources, creating a new health regimen, creating new ways to uniquely reach every child in your classroom, creating a science project, creating music, dance, paintings, poems, creating your ideal career, creating a healthy home for your children. Whatever creating is for us, whatever is our deepest heartsongs, we were made not to think of it or dream of it or ponder how much we like it; we were made to create it. And to create it every day. And to push ourselves beyond our imaginations and stare the challenges of creating it in the face. To refuse the easy route of not creating. Because that route will destroy.

May we turn our swords into plowshares, and create.


Anonymous said...

I am deeply moved the beautiful spirit that sings within the skin named Ciona. I believe that spirit spreads like fire, I believe it is dangerous... like believing in prayer. I believe in you.

Jessica Dotta said...

Well said. Would you allow me to repost this on inspireafire.com? I really, really liked it.


bookgirl4[at ] att.net

Ciona said...

Hi Jessica! Thanks for checking out my blog! Inspire a Fire is just wonderful! I'd love to have you share it there! Thanks! Will it post back to this blog?



Susan Fassberg said...

LOVE your thinking and your work.... please contact me: Susan Fassberg, 510-666-9607, from http://ConnectingDotz.com

Connie said...

Beautifully stated! This could be the first page of a book on CREATION and what that should look like in this modernistic society. Well thought and while it was only an allusion, perhaps had Hitler been able to use his super poweres for good and not evil, he may have helped the world be a better place instead of committing the terrible sins against humankind, God's greatest creation. You made me think so instread of imploding, I will now go and create! Love how you think and that you take the careful time to think! Thanks for sharing.

Connie said...

Ci, I hate typos, especially when I make them. Ha! Please correct mine! And then delete this post! Thanks!Love you!

Keira said...

Thank you!!!


Keira said...

Thank you!!!


Ciona said...

Thanks, Keira!