Beauty continually pulls me in opposite directions. It has me cling securely to that which I know and dazzles me forward towards the mysteriousness of that which may lie ahead. It’s no accident that beauty is fused with such creative tension. Beauty is what drives creativity. Regardless of our individual compasses, our creative process, like iron shavings, aligns towards the magnetic north of beauty; dancing in resonance to something not quite tangible.
Whether we work alone, creating our own particular expression of beauty, or work with others – in music, literature, film, theater, or any other sort of art – the dance partner we hold close is beauty. We hold it close at the same time that we go about creating it. If we are lucky enough to be working with others, this creative collaboration produces the spark of synergy molding beauty into form.
When the process goes well it’s jazz improv; it’s timeless, spacious, grounding, and freeing. Working together, serving a common vision of beauty, is sacred partnership. Collaboration is a gift we give each other as an extension of our call towards beauty. Creative collaboration is a meeting in the realm of the divine.
Darkness befalls us when something threatens that collaboration. When it is not contracts that are in dispute and conflict comes down to disagreement on something addressing the creative process, I find that what often serves as the portal to that darkness relates to either ego, history, or communication.
Pride, insecurity, low self esteem, and the attraction or repulsion to being “one up” are variations on the theme of ego. Under the category of “history” is fear of betrayal, projection of betrayal, and all the other paranoia of not being treated with respect. And under the wide, sometimes light, sometimes dark, cloud of communication are such mistakes as assumption and withholding, often simply the innocent byproduct of not thinking clearly.
My work is creative, and my creativity is expressed through the grace with which I bring clarity to misunderstandings, balance to oppositions, and facilitation for people to get to the same page and resume being in it together.
My advice to you who feel the move in a direction away from a creative partner, is to stop what you’re doing. Make conscious what you’re doing unconsciously. Seek help to unravel the drama you feel caving in on you. As easy as it is to lose yourself in your story of betrayal and feelings of resentment, it is painfully difficult to find your way back, and recover your sense of reality.
Copyright © 2014 Jim Lehrman