“Everything we do is art,” said Seyyed Hossein Nasr to Parabola Magazine for their Spring 1988 issue. This issue was named The Creative Response, trying as it may, to describe the birth and life of creativity.
Does that seem a long time ago? I remember it well because a year later our son was born, a major creative event for any family.
“All are called to respond creatively to their lives. We are put under an obligation when we recognize, however dimly, that this is so. But we seldom understand how to meet this obligation, seldom see the demand in the moment it appears.”
“. . . there is a difference between a reaction and a response.”
The reaction is easy and automatic, needing little effort. A response demands more; it demands a departure from the superficial and recognizable for the sake of what is central and may yet be unknown.
Entering the province of a “true-to-youself” response calls for true inner strength. In the face of people who can see through you, you’ll sense freedom from having to pretend to be strong. Allowing yourself to feel humiliation, awkwardness, ignorance, embarrassment. By doing this, you go beyond being good, . . . instead you grow. Zen sages call it the “beginner’s mind.”
This mind is in the life and legacy of everybody whose presence refreshes those around them. Many are everyday people, in addition to those better known.
They remind us of our own need for discovery and offer a promise of what may be found through creativity. Here’s a gem from John Denver.
Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in the times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home
Perhaps love is like a window, perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don’t know what to do
The memory of love will see you through
Perhaps love is like the ocean, full of conflict, full of change
Like a fire when it’s cold outside, thunder when it rains
If I should live forever and all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you
John Denver believed this song, “Perhaps Love,” to be the best song he ever wrote.