Creativity can part the waters of chaos in your life, mine and those who participate in our art.
In the ancient near east, and more particularly in the traditions of the ancient Hebrews, there existed a notion that the “waters,” or “seas” represented chaos.
In other words, the raging, dark waves and mysterious depths were icons for trouble, challenge, potential calamity and disorientation.
At the beginning of the Jewish origin narrative, it is said that one of the first acts of creation was the separating of the waters above from the waters below. The Spirit, the text notes, is hovering over the surface of those waters, parting, forming, shaping taking charge by the act of creativity.
In instrumental music we see creativity create a space of internal quiet where this soul turbulence in a life. The notes, the silences and the textures speak forcefully, and can open the soul to a quieting order, a clarification of the dynamics going on within the secret heart of the listener.
In personal experience, we have moments where our creativity is prophesying back to us, saying “Be clear. Be strong. Find strength.” We are lifted by creating.
In societal cases, the arts of a community can heal its soul. An artist friend in Belfast, Northern Ireland painted a mural of a playful community over the top of a “red-hand” mural signifying the hatred of one party toward another. Paramilitary leaders welcomed the new painting, in hopes it would bridge the gaps they themselves were aching to see healed between them and their fellow Irishfolk.
In this way, art and music can part the waters of chaos in a life.
In what ways have you seen your art part the waters of chaos in your own life, or someone else’s?