Lightning Tree by Marilyn Bouchard

Genesis 1:1 (NIV)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Art is a personal act of courage,
something one human does
that creates change in another.
– Seth Godin

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. – Thomas Merton

Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness,
or perhaps of sub-consciousness – I wouldn’t know.
But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.
– Aaron Copland

I live a creative life, and you can’t be creative without being vulnerable. I believe that Creativity and Fear are basically conjoined twins; they share all the same major organs, and cannot be separated, one from the other, without killing them both. And you don’t want to murder Creativity just to destroy Fear! – Elizabeth Gilbert

Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful,
or to discover something that is true. – William Inge

There is a thing – and I believe this, with all my heart – there is a thing that cannot not be written. It’s a different thing each day. It’s a different thing each life. It’s a different thing each mortal soul. And not all of you write in words, like I do. Some write in stone and wood, or plants. Or food. Some write in prayer. Some in silence. Some in paint. In bodies dancing or struggling on a stage. Truly, if we really told the truth, we all have more than one pen. And to know where to point it, how to wield it, what blood to dip it in: we have to listen. – Esther Emery, The Thing That Can’t Not Be Written

Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive.
Make stuff to inspire others to make something, too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself. – Frederick Terral

Participating in the creative act helps us to see ourselves as we are and as we might become. Like prayer, the creative act draws us into the authentic life that awaits us and into our fulfillment in God. Creativity, an essential tool for shaping the soul, provides a pathway to the fierce truth of our life. Those traveling the spiritual road who yearn for the healing of life’s deepest hurts, the fulfillment of immeasurable longings, or the profound peace found only in life with God need all their creativity to complete the journey. – Karla M. Kincannon, Creativity and Divine Surprise

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.
-Marc Chagall

Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything. -George Lois

I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for our victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.- John F. Kennedy

What leads and controls the world is not locomotives, but ideas. Harness the locomotives to the ideas, yes, but do not mistake the horse for the horseman.
– Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted. -George Kneller

In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd. – Miguel de Cervantes

Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist.
We are collaborators in creation.- Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads. – Erica Jong

Isaiah 42:5-7 (NRSV)
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

Martin Luther King Jr makes the case for ‘creative extremism’ in a 1963 letter penned from his Birmingham jail cell
But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label.

  • Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
  • Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.”
  • Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”
  • Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.”
  • And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.”
  • And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.”
  • And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .”

So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?

In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

For more of Marilyn Bouchard’s incredibly creative, conceptual photography, click here

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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