The Creative Spirit

Monday, July 20, 2015

terre mere

Welcome to my new blog. I was going to name the whole blog Creative Spirit until I realized how many sites, books, programs, etc. there are with that name. I guess I’m not the only one who thought of that phrase! But of course, the creative spirit is something universal, something all of us have or participate in to some degree.

I also remembered that coincidentally several members of my family have used the word Creative in their enterprises. In the 1970s my mother started a business called Creative Conventions, a service to take people who were at conventions on tours of her beloved hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. An extrovert and a Pittsburgh fan, she was good at it!

And my brother K.C. has an advertising company out in Montana called K.C. Hayes Creative.

Who said there are no coincidences?

We each have our own spin on this endeavor, though, and my particular interest is in how spirituality enters into the mix. How do creativity and spirituality converge? or are they actually different words for the same thing? In the end I don’t think you can speak of creativity without including the spirit. John Steinbeck in East of Eden calls it “the glory.”

“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up a man (Let’s include women here, too!)..A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then — the glory — so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished.”

My current muse and role model is Hildegard of Bingen, visionary poet/abbess/composer/physician in the 11th century. She taught a theology so different from that of the contemporary church that it defies imagination to think how she managed to stay within it. Matthew Fox dubbed it Creation Spirituality. Earth-based, sensual, God in female form, Hildegard’s writings teach that the spark of life within each of us is the spark of the divine and that participating in creation, being creators ourselves, is the task of being human.

As I move toward the later years of life, I am inspired to remember that Hildegard “poured outward,” was at her most prolific, in her seventies. Here’s one of her poems:

The air, with its penetrating strength,

characterizes the victorious banner that is trust.

It gives light to the fire’s flame

and sprinkles the imagination of believers

with the dew of hope.

Thus does trust show the way.

Those who breathe this dew

long for heavenly things.

They carry within



greening love,

with which they hasten to the aid of all.

With the passion of heavenly yearning,

They produce rich fruit.

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