Friday, November 2, 2012

All Saints, All Souls for Writers and Other Creative Types

Today is the Feast of All Souls, in which we remember those who have died in the past year.  Yesterday was the Feast of All Saints, in which we remember all those who have died.  Even if you don't have a theological or spiritual interest, these feast days offer writers and other creative people an interesting opportunity.

As we watch the weather change and the days grow shorter, it's a good time to assess our creative lives.  What have we hoped to accomplish?  Where are we headed?  Which projects need to be declared dead?  Which projects might we resurrect?

Or, to put it another way, if you knew you only had a few years of creative life left, how would you spend those years?

The feast days of All Saints and All Souls also present an opportunity to think about our mentors.  What would they tell us about our strengths and weaknesses?  What would they advise us to do?

It's also a good time to think about the history of the art form we practice.  Who are the saints, the earlier practitioners, of our art forms?  What can we learn from them?

In many cultures, these feast days become a family time. Think of the Mexican tradition of taking picnics to the graveyard. Now would be a good time to record your family memories. Write them down while you still remember. Make a video. Assemble those records.

Dream a little on this All Saints Sunday. If you could create a new life out of the threads that you have, what would you weave? Or would you start again, with different yarns and textures? What is your dream of a renewed life?

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