That’s me on the far right doing my best impression of KISS bassist Gene Simmons. I was a huge fan of the band KISS, due in large part to the older kids in my neighborhood, two of which are pictured here with me. We invited our parents and other neighbors to gather in Chris’ backyard, set up the stereo system outside, lit flares and lip-synced the entire Dynasty album, pausing only to flip the LP over.
Maybe you’ll resonate with this: it wasn’t enough for me to listen to the band. I wanted to be in the band.
I still find that same impulse in me. I want to be in the art I love and want it to be part of me. So, I stare at the pieces I admire, listen to the same song or album over and over, watch the same film again and again, memorize lines and lyrics, etc… The connection I have with the art in my life goes well beyond being entertained. I think it has far more to do with my who I am… and with who I’m becoming.
C.S. Lewis reflected similarly, writing “We do not want merely to see beauty… we want… to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”
Similarly, I think every creative act actually has its roots in identity. Everything I make says something about who I am (and perhaps more importantly… who I want to be). That’s why I’ve taken to saying “Creativity is Spiritual Formation” and why I designed an entire online course around that idea; Because who you are in what you make is more important than what you make.
You are the gift given to your world
What you make is how actually offer yourself.