The autobiography of William Kurelek, the Canadian painter, is entitled Someone With Me. Painters, musicians, writers, and other creative people are usually able to name the muse who inspires them. Kurelek had a strong Christian faith. He follows in the line of centuries of painters whose faith inspired their work.
Who, or what, is the someone with me? We are being shown, in this season of Easter, the power of the Spirit of God in the creative works of the early church. We hear the Gospel reminder that the Spirit "abides with you." The history of the church was enriched by the lonely work of individuals, by the power of community, and by every conceivable combination of people.
There may be a lot of politics in the history of the Christian community, but there is also a lot of prayerful reflection as we ask about the nature of faith and how it helps believers to make sense of the world.
We often take for granted the places where we find inspiration. I recently spent a few weeks surrounded by the rugged beauty of Eastern Newfoundland. It's difficult to not be inspired when we see majestic icebergs, roaring ocean waves and steep cliffs. One experiences how humble and fragile we are.
Right now, I'm back in Pickering, Ontario, which has its own beauty. The beauty, these days, is found in the emerging life and colours of spring.
I've written in igNation of the fact that many of my most creative and original blog posts have emerged from simply sitting at Starbucks with a latte. Not a whole lot of creativity there, unless we have a talented barista! What helps with my writing is the general hubbub of conversations. I need silence if I am engaged in writing a serious piece of academic writing. I need to be surrounded by creative energy at other times.
Those who design libraries are increasingly aware of the variety of needs in people. And creative energy is not restricted to places of beauty. Think of the beautiful and creative work that has been inspired by prisons, concentration camps, war, places of destruction, and personal desolation.
Let's take time in this Easter season leading up to Pentecost to ask how and where the Spirit abides or dwells with us. Ignatius of Loyola and other mystics foster the importance of being able to find God's spirit in any and all situations.
Are we so in tune with our spiritual energies that we know where we can find spiritual life and know how to express it in our works, regardless of their level of a connection to our faith lives? Is there someone with me in my creative efforts? Where do you get your inspiration?