Where the pencil touches the paper the universe breaks open

It amazes me what happens when someone takes a pencil and pulls it across a sheet of paper, or presses their thumb into a lump of clay or swirls colours of paint in a jar of water.


That moment of physical creation is miracle – the smell of graphite smudging on pristine white, the feel of damp clay beneath finger nails as your thumb sinks into the cold, the flecks of water drying on your skin as paint is flick flicked to bloom in bright colours across a wet surface – the universe breaks open and the space is made sacred.


If you watch someone creating in the most truthful way you see a piece of their souls. That moment of creation is both miraculous and terrifying like the blinding light of God shining with awe-full holiness. Maybe it actually is the blinding light of God breaking through into this world refracted through our souls, our minds and our bodies. This makes it a sacrament – a physical manifestation of an inward experience of the transcendent.


I know that I can avoid the moment of creation with all the tools the well practiced procrastinator can muster. But I don’t avoid the moment in the same way I avoid filling in the tax return or making a difficult phone call, these things simply fill me with a cold dread and will be left to the last possible moment to attend to. The avoidance of creation is different. There is fear of being exposed for sure. Showing anyone an aspect of your being will always be painful. As the nerve endings are exposed, defenceless, the viewer can inflict whatever pain they like with critical comments or even a compliment in the wrong tone of voice. But that fear is the terror of the ego with its insatiable appetite for approval. Beyond that fear, which is a symptom of our damaged souls and can, with time, be overcome, is a deeper, more subtle, holy awe that recognises the moment of creation as a breaking through of the transcendent.


So, whilst the self centred fear of rejection and ridicule that stems from our broken selves is something to be overcome the quiet and holy fear of the brilliant light of the creative moment is an entirely appropriate response to the presence of wonder.   

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