Today is one of the big three church holidays; today is Pentecost. For those of you who have no reference, Pentecost is the day that comes 50 days after Easter and 10 days after Jesus goes back up to Heaven (Ascension Day). We see a group of disciples still at loose ends, still in effect, hiding out, still unsure of what to do.
Then the Holy Spirit fills them with the sound of a great rushing wind, and they speak in languages they have no way of knowing. But others understand the languages--it's one way the disciples argue that they're not drunk. And then they go out to change the world--but that's the subject for an entirely different post.
You may be saying, "Great. What does all that have to do with me?"
I see that Pentecost story as having similar features to the creative process that many of us experience. If you replace the religious language, maybe you'll see what I mean.
Often I've felt stymied and at loose ends. I think back to times when I've known exactly what to do and where to go next. I find myself missing teachers and other mentors that I've had. I may wallow in feelings of abandonment--where has my muse gone? Why don't I have any great mentors now? Have all my great ideas abandoned me? What if I never write a poem again?
And then, whoosh. Often I hit a time of inspiration. I get more ideas in any given morning than I can handle. I jot down notes for later. I send of packet after packet of submissions.
Some times, it feels downright scary, like something has taken possession of me. But it's a good spirit, and so I try to enjoy the inspired times. I've been at this long enough that I know that these inspired times won't last forever.
The good news: those inspired times will come back, as long as I keep showing up, keep waiting, stay alert.
That's the message that many of us will be hearing in our churches today. And it's a good message to remember as we do our creative work.
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