In this third chapter from Madeline L’Engle’s fascinating Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, I was arrested by the fact that in my often vain attempts toward maturity, I’ve forgotten how incredibly freeing it was to be a child.
“All children are artists, and it is an indictment of our culture that so many of them lose their creativity, their unfettered imaginations, as they grow older.”
In one of those highly coincidental moments in life, these were the first words I read after finishing Matt Appling’s Life After Art, a book that tackles our loss of creativity as adults and the need for us to revert to particular modes of thinking that came so naturally to us as children. Appling’s book is a great continuation of the conversation that L’Engle starts in this particular chapter. (Read my review of Life After Art).
“A lot of my adult life has been spent in trying to overcome this corruption, in unlearning the dirty devices of this world, which would dull our imaginations, cut away our creativity.”
If you’re not particularly creative, have you ever thought about why that might be? Can you remember a time as a child when you painted with abandon, wrote without fear, or sang without embarrassment? What stole that outlet from you? Even for artists that strive to better their craft every day, I think these are important questions to consider. As I read in Life After Art, if we’re created in the image of God and God is a creative being, we must inherently be creative beings. Such creativity can take on a number of forms. Maybe you’re losing out on some of the joy of life because you’re not creating. I’d encourage you to take even baby steps toward regaining the creative spirit you may once have had as a child.