Friday, April 11, 2008

What's Your Art?

I was fortunate to spend the last couple of days with two very dear friends who are also writers. We did many things & had many conversations that will provide great material for blogging over the next few weeks. We spent a lot of time discussing art and writing. In one of the handmade books I showed them I had used a favorite quote from Madeline L'Engle in her book Walking on Water.
"Until I have worked through self, I will not be enabled to get out of the way."
In this quote, she is explaining what happens in the creative process when the artist gets into what we call "flow." You know, that experience when time & space disappear and you're no longer conscious of what you are doing, where it's no longer you doing the work, it's the work being done through you.
When I write, I acknowledge that as my art. But I am intimidated by other forms of art such as drawing and painting. I do not feel like an artist in that context. So, having visited the Art Institute with my friends, I thought about my perspective on that quote. I'd originally used it in reference to doing therapy with a client of mine. Therapists work to get out of the way so we can be available to work more authentically and thoughtfully with our clients. When I'm at my best as a therapist, I get out of the way. If I can set aside my own concerns, tiredness, and assumptions, I don't have to worry about finding empathy. It just shows up.
Writing is a form of art. Therapy is also a form of art. Whatever you do that makes you who you are, when you get out of the way, that is art. What's your art?

1 comment:

Crystal Laine Miller said...

I like your phrase, "You know, that experience when time & space disappear" because that is what I think of when I remember Eric Liddell saying to his sister about running--"I feel God's pleasure" (talking about when he runs.) It's that place when we feel God's pleasure--a joy.

I liked this post. And I liked it that you had a good time with your friends! Someday maybe I can see your books.