Creativity · Faith

Seasonal Creativity: Process and Progress

Here’s an article I wrote recently, hence the different voice I used. But… I like it a lot, and I hope you do too! Enjoy!

Autumn always brings a fresh start to creativity in my life, for several reasons: the changing leaves act as a fresh palette of color, the cooling temperatures bring me inside to stay warm, and as the days grow shorter, my cozy evenings grant me time for reflection and introspection.

My autumn creativity is usually of two variations: writing and crochet. In the writing sphere, I step into the world of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words of a novel during the 30 days of November. Yes, it sounds crazy, and yes, as my sister points out, I may be (just a little) obsessed. A writing adventure of such a grand scale could never be accomplished during a warm-weather month, when the sun is begging you to come outside; during the cooler months, curling up with a laptop, a fire, and a cup of hot chocolate sounds like a much better idea.

Likewise, crocheting during the summer is not very appealing. All those hot, thick yarn projects are practically repulsive in the summer, but quickly become the perfect accessory in the winter. During my autumn crochet kicks, I have stitched more scarves and hats than any normal person should be able to wear over the course of the cool seasons. Each year, I learn new stitches and try new projects; the welcome byproduct is a little time to myself.

These activities, fun in themselves, mean something deeper to me: creativity is an intentional process, not an end product. Creativity allows me to disconnect from worry and busyness, and instead to dive deep into a quieter world where I can have time to reflect. While I’m creating and my mind is allowed to wander, my subconscious becomes strong enough to have a voice. Through the process of repetitive stitches and plot lines, I am finally in touch with my heart. I learn to dwell in the silence, listening, and allow myself to feel and to think deeply on topics I would otherwise prefer to bury.

The process of creativity helps ease my wounds and soften harsh realities. By facing challenges to the tune of the arts, hope is born again: all is not lost. There is still beauty in our world… I have it right here in my hands. God speaks to us in these moments of quiet, granting deeper revelations and connections we may have otherwise missed, opening our eyes to God’s presence and action in everyday life and relationships. Through writing and crochet, God helps me remember my blessings, while gently exposing the ways I have failed, so that I may grow closer to him once again.

I’m making progress in my life and my faith, through creative processes. Every time I complete a new novel during NaNoWriMo, I learn something new about myself, something I never could have articulated without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Every scarf I crochet stands as a testament to many hours of solitude, manifested in the physical form of stitches to keep me warm throughout the winter.

During the fall, it may seem that everything is dying, until all that remains are muted tones and a cold wind. But rather than shy away from the seasonal death, I embrace it as a metaphorical death to my distractions: I slow down, quiet myself, and listen to God, to the tune of the arts. Through my creativity, borne of a change in seasons, I experience a change of heart and open myself again to God’s unchanging love and his will for my life.

How is God speaking to you this season?

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