Creative Stretch #1: Seeking the Unseeable

By September 16, 2009 culture, language No Comments
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Creative Stretch posts encourage “the care and feeding of the imagination and the spirit” (Luci Shaw, Breath for the Bones).

Welcome to the first Creative Stretch! Glad you’re here with me to get the artistic juices flowing.

For this stretch, let’s consider something Shaw says in the introduction to her book: “Both artist and believer must occupy themselves with seeing what is virtually unseeable, what the earthbound miss . . . by listening with inner ears, by opening the eyes of the heart to perceive what surges beneath, within, beyond, [to] draw the ineffable into the realm of experienced reality.” (Shaw xvi–xvii)

“Seeing what is virtually unseeble . . .” how do we become adept in this? How do we make earthbound eyes see the transcendent that is just beyond the veil of everyday living?

These questions have hung about my head over the past few days. For deep questions there are no easy, formulaic answers.

Even this wrestling is part of the seeing, as it takes time and consideration, a bit of daydreaming, perhaps. Artists willingly make such investments; they choose to stare at their current work-in-progress, stare out the window. Artists see because they take the time to do so.

Taking time to see is not easy: Time must be arranged for, even in the creative life. It is difficult to reserve time necessary to create something worthy of the world. We must fill our heart’s inspiration well if we are to have water to draw up and quench the creative thirst within.

For this Creative Stretch, let’s drink deeply of the life all around us and get filled to full so we can see what is just beyond what’s seeable. [A perfect illustration of drinking deeply of the hidden pockets in life can be found in this heart-swelling post by Queenie. Also visit with Ann for her series on Seeing Lessons. Enjoy!] Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Stare out the window
  • Sit at a park
  • Take some photos from odd angles (down low, up high)
  • Ride your bike or walk instead of driving

After you have taken some time to seek to see the unseeable, think through these questions:

  • What did you see? hear? smell? feel?
  • What emotions did you experience?
  • What new insights have you gained?
  • How has this inspired your artist’s heart?

I plan to take my creative stretch tomorrow morning; stop by Friday to hear all about what I got to see!

Did you seek the unseeable? What did you see? Do share!


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