Happy inspiration season, otherwise known as the holidays! This is a strange and wondrous time of year—the days are so short and pale they seem to whisper. And the nights are so deep dark, so full of energy, it’s all I can do to get enough sleep.

Lately I’ve been using this dichotomous time of year to listen to inspirational YouTube clips and podcasts and the sweet ramblings of friends. And we’ve covered a lot of ground together, the thrust of which seemed to point me toward this question…

What do we want to create?

This question is as universal as it is individual. If we accept that we can create anything we choose (given, perhaps, equal parts time, willingness, and traction), the question becomes What do I want? What don’t I want? What am I truly moving toward?

An Abraham Hicks quote from this morning’s inspirational bathroom-YouTube-eyelash-curling-ritual is staying with me. It goes something like this:

You didn’t come here for the creation; you came here for the creating.

Well, if that idea doesn’t reframe virtually every position I’ve taken on manifestation and creativity, I don’t know what will!

I’ve spent years focusing on outcome. Years of worrying whether the words I write will become a book. Whether the book will find an audience. Whether the creative life I can feel for myself will look like a this or a that or a something altogether other. Will it be enough? Is it the right vision? Do I want to write novels, after all? or plays? Direct films? Act in them? Knit tea cozies? Just TELL me: Am I doing what I came here to do??

The plea of the melodramatic artist, perhaps, but an audible plea nonetheless.

But do you mean to say, dear Abraham, that I am here to delight in the act of creating itself? To revel in the daily, corporeal truth that I can sit and put words or pictures down into sentences and books and text message stories or simple collages cut from last month’s magazines?

Do you mean to say that the very act of creating is the product, the point?

For some reason this simple statement— you didn’t come here for the creation; you came here for the creating—gives my restless self a break. It allows. The rather shelf-worn life is about the journey has always been a tough one for me. Maybe you are the same? The very word journey brings to mind labor and waiting and then sometimes trudging across life’s vast desert plains of experience.

But creating. Creating! Now there’s a word with magic in it.

And so, a rephrasing. A gerund -ing where before we only had a static noun. The gerund creating from the verb create does this: it takes the action and adds to it a the noun thing-ness we are seeking. It is, in a way, both the action and the product of the action.

(and if this is wrong, grammar police, I will humbly submit to a life of tea cozies)

But in the meantime, I’ll pose a new question. One with color in it and action and the product of action. All of it. A question that is more curious exploration than its cousin, the nervous plea:

What magic is in the creating?


.. photo cred: Eugene Blackburn ..