Vision: Via Creativa: Playing in the Key of Life by Amy Steinberg

January 5, 2020 |

And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. – Zachariah 8:5

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. – Helen Keller

Creativity is a leap of faith. – Julia Cameron

I, God, am your playmate! I will lead the child in you in wonderful ways for I have chosen you.  – Mechtild of Magdeburg

God is a brilliant, playful artist. Look around. Wacky masterpieces everywhere! The popcorn cloud sky, the luminous light sparkling off the trees, the incredible variation of animals – from the platypus to the whale, and color! God uses color like CRAZY! It’s just a marvel to behold, this wonderful world, isn’t it? God is the Ultimate Creative Genius. And I believe this Great Spirit lives inside each and every one of us.

I had a knock down drag out debate with a friend many years ago about the academics of visual art. She was dead set on the idea that there is “good” art and “bad” art. And it infuriated me! I honestly believe that art is 100% subjective. It is a personal experience, and everyone is moved by different artistic expressions. She yammered on about standards and color theory and balance and blah blah blah. She really threw around some terms and had a lot of kNOwledge. She even had a European accent.  (I know, I sound a little bitter. Maybe I need to take this to a therapist. HA!)

Now, I’m not trying to say that Art History doesn’t have great importance, and there aren’t divine works of art, of COURSE there are! Balance and color theory and all that she was putting forth does have perfectly valid validity. And I’m not trying to say that every one of us can make a grand living being a visual artist (although I even question this). But I believe that we are, in fact, ALL artists. By nature.

We are created by the Great Creator and in the image of the Divine. So yes, we are all Great Creators. And what one person finds stunning, another might not feel at all. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes? Can I hear an Oh Yeah?!

When we were wide-eyed little kiddos, art was a part of kindergARTen. We played with crayons and watercolors and finger-paints. There wasn’t a question of whether we were brilliant or not, we just arted because we were free, and alive, and innocent! As we grew up, judgement of the particular expression began. We began to get grouped into good and bad, talented and untalented, worthy and unworthy. Art became a gift given to only a few. The energy of artistic freedom was dwarfed in many of us. And this is not only quite sad to me, it is detrimental to human evolution.

A lack of artistic freedom and expression can lead to brokenness. A recent study showed that a large percentage of folks in prison were restricted from play or had very little allowance for creativity growing up. Play, creativity and mental/spiritual health are deeply interconnected.

This Via, I’m hoping to tap into the spirit of a playful heart, the part of us that remembers the wildness of creation as a kid. The feeling of freedom and safety that allows for us to live openly and joyfully. I could not be more excited to explore this with you all.

Playfully yours, Amy