Have you ever felt the presence of something bigger than yourself, so joyful it moved you to tears? If you answered “yes,” I would gather the first thing that came to mind involved some form of the creative arts: A well-composed song. The touching words of poetry. A dancer’s movement. The strum of a guitar. A soulful image. It’s what moves our hearts in directions both high and low, so profoundly we can barely describe our feelings with ordinary words. One thing I know for sure: few things bond us as strongly as the visual, performing, and creative arts.
To me, creative types who own and hone their gifted talents are the ones who define life’s poetry in captured sunrises and sunsets, and blessings every single day. We are the recipients of artful creations the moment a painter’s brush hits the canvas, or a songwriter is moved to compose something so compelling they will awaken in the middle of the night to heed its calling. Long before we enjoy the fruition of the artist’s work, we get to experience their journey, too. While a musician, artist, photographer, or writer is in creation mode – which could last for weeks, months, or even years – they often exude personal contentment in their everyday life. In many, the creative process is even more fulfilling than the end product: discovering and creating unique shades of paint; retouching and beautifying photographs; staging scenes or rehearsing a performance; or fine-tuning characters in a novel. Often, no words can express the joy an artist experiences while playing with the tools of their trade.
And after all that time, effort, dreaming, and creating come together, the public gets to drink up their delicious concoctions. People rely on the arts to provide respite from work stress, family despair, or simply for life enjoyment. It’s all the things that stir our souls and cause our hearts to leap, our eyes to tear, our voices to laugh, and allows our bodies to jump for joy. All over the world, even in languages we don’t speak or understand, creative arts speak to us in a universal language no other entity can claim.
Which is not to downplay the value of those in academics or all things related to science, math or technology. Every day, our lives depend on the men and women of science; we need the scholarly to live and get by. But in order to thrive and really live life to the fullest, we need – now more than ever – The Arts, which uplift us way beyond logic and allow us to bond in the most civil human way.
We know that creativity comforts, teaches, and feeds our soul. That’s why we hear phrases over and over, such as: “Will you please play that song again?” or “Dance for me,” or “Can you paint my portrait? Photograph my baby? Write me a poem? Read me that letter?”
And when two or more creative types converge, musician/dancer or saxophone/singer, it’s as if God’s blessings allowed, for that one moment, humans to experience Heaven on Earth. It’s in that moment when the creative moves the physical part of us so deeply, that no words can convey how it feels, and for the recipient, it’s a rare gift to cherish forever.
Art is often described in a way similar to how people perceive faith: They say it’s something you can’t see, feel, or even understand. But I defer… Like faith, art helps us to see beauty in others and feel the emotions, and moves us to understand why we love life so much. We get it… we just can’t put it into words.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
Abella Carroll is a freelance writer