I wrote this short essay about a month or so ago. It is deeply personal but I feel like it is meant to be shared:
Creativity is a beacon of light for me in my darkest hour. As a young girl in the midst of family chaos, I snuck away to my little healing box of tools…my pen, blank papers, and an assortment of brightly colored markers and crayons. In my imagination, there was no room left for the pain, the sound of screaming parents fighting, and no room for belittling comments towards me. Creativity allowed me to have the unabashed freedom that every child should have. Children must explore, play, and express themselves in a land that is virtually free of critics.
As far back as I can remember, I created my own comic books, magazines, and fashion catalogs. I had a fake telephone where imaginary people called and ordered from my collection. These were hours of innocent fun. My beloved grandmother would hold my hand as we walked to the grocery store, which was the local “A&P” at the time. She would buy me the latest magazines if I was a good little girl and the images sparked my inspiration daily. I proudly lined up my magazines on my shelf as if they were prize trophies. As the years went by, the fake telephone retired itself and I no longer doodled away. I turned to the mighty sword of my pen.
I had a creative writing teacher in high school. Her name was Mrs. Solomon. She was a beautiful middle-aged woman with a gentle face, round blue eyes, and wavy chestnut hair. She encouraged us to write what our hearts desired. One day I wrote a revealing poem about how I considered taking my own life. As I finished reading my poem, I looked to my teacher and realized tears were streaming down her face. I saw them glisten and realized that the power of my creativity could evoke emotions in others. These were genuine emotions too, because everything I create is true and from my heart. It also dawned upon me that writing this poetry was a healing tool as well, very powerful indeed what we can accomplish with our words.
These days long after many arduous journeys and a ton of healing work, my greatest creations emerged: my two little girls. I still hold creativity as a strong and vital force in my life. It is my center. There is so much simple joy in splashing away with watercolors with my eldest daughter. Together, we are free. She is so proud of her paintings. They are beautiful, full of life and imagination just like her eyes. Whenever she feels any sorrow or life presents obstacles, I teach her that she can retreat to the power that creativity offers like a golden chalice emerging from the sky. “Take it,” I say.
Creativity can bring the silent peace to a mind at war with itself. In the midst of creating, we can surrender to the divine, to peace, and open ourselves to more love. It is all worth it in the end.