Personal Reflections on Art and Writing for a New Semester

A few nights ago, as I lay in bed willing myself to sleep before the new semester began, I suddenly had an epiphany. It used to happen all the time as a kid. Feeling dozy and tranquil, the words would begin pouring into my mind like liquid through a sieve. I learned long ago that if I didn’t write it down right then, those brilliant inspired thoughts would forever be relegated to the miry recess of an overloaded brain. Like a mad fiend I furiously typed. Flowing in beautiful stream of consciousness, I wrote:

Noise

I went to bed one night nuzzled next to my honey.

And the words of desperation and fight poured forth like a fountain.

Amidst your iCloud storage is full and the midnight texting

m  i  s  p  e  l  s  p  e  l  l  i  n  g

what emerged was raw pain.

heart swivel.

Typing on an impersonal phone

who whispers into the night.

Someone needs your prophecy.

Speak on dear voice.

Before I laid the phone down—another inspiration. I saw it like a picture engraved at the back of my temples. I wrote on and on for another thirty minutes. I wrote about pain. I wrote about a dear friend. I wrote about Jesus. I wrote about healing.

Art has a way of tapping into an inner demand that tugs at our soul—whether it’s a moving poem, an incredibly creative story, a painting, a symphony, or a portrait. Beauty moves us. God in all his infinite wisdom and creativity designed us in his own image. And part of that image calls us to not only appreciate the beauty in the world but also create it.

As we face a new daunting semester, don’t forget this part of your being. Take time this semester to breathe, to create, to revel in that part of your image that was made to explore God’s creation with awe and wonder.

Lay under the ancient magnolias and sketch what you see.

Sit quietly by the fountain watching the birds bathe. Breathe in and out and listen to the sound of water.

Write a poem that expresses the deep raw emotions of the unknown.

Relive your favorite biblical character through crafting a creative story.

Take pictures of the mundane and arrange them into a collage.

Get some old magazines, scissors, and glue and create something unique.

God designed us for creativity and in those moments when all you can think about is academic prose, deadlines, word counts, or excessive reading, take a deep breath, set a timer, and do something new. Create art and let it fill you with peace.

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