Greetings and peace.
My name is John Calzavara and I am a professional musician and a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. My life experiences have been enriched by a number of different spiritual writers including Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Aquinas, Hildegard of Bingen, Henri Nouwen and Richard Rohr. My musical journey has been influenced by such artists as Charlie Parker, Vince Gill, Dave Koz, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and Paul Franklin. This blog will share my perspective on the arts and spirituality and how spirituality applies to everyday life. I invite you to join the conversation and express your own thoughts and opinions about the topics presented here. Thanks for taking the time to read and participate. Come back often.
We begin with the topic of creativity.
Creativity is the essence of life and when we do not create it is almost as if we lose the spirit of who we are as human beings. What is it that drives human existence? The pursuit of material wealth, the satisfaction of the ego, or self actualization? While all of these things participate in driving the human spirit in some fashion, I believe there is something bigger driving our species. Have you ever gotten so into something you were making or doing that you lost all track of time? Have you done something or created something and looked back on it with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment? I believe these feelings demonstrate to us that we have been involved in
the creative process - something that is bigger than our own existence.
Being creative is very rewarding and fulfilling but can often be very difficult. In a society that is results driven, the creative process can be looked upon as too difficult or a waste of time because being creative usually requires patience and a deep process. We have all heard the phrase, “well that’s the way we’ve always done it”? This seems to be a fairly common phrase and one that demonstrates a human's aversion to creativity. Some people seem to be saying, “let’s just do it the way we always have, even if it doesn’t work, because that’s the easy way”.
Creativity requires work and discipline. Not discipline in the sense that we are incredibly hard on ourselves, but discipline in the sense that we keep working at something until it becomes second nature. Saint Thomas Aquinas said, “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever”. I believe that Aquinas is challenging us to be creative. To do things in our own unique way, not to keep our ships in port forever.
Life in the spirit
John is a professional musician and a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. His blog will center around the arts in spirituality and how spirituality applies to everyday life.
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