They cursed us. Murderer they called us. They cursed us, and drove us away. And we wept, Precious, we wept to be so alone. And we only wish to catch fish so juicy sweet. And we forgot the taste of bread… the sound of trees… the softness of the wind. We even forgot our own name. – Gollum, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
I believe that there is a force of evil in this world that drives us to become what Tolkien describes here. When we focus on something other than the beauty in front of us we lose the wonder of life itself. The spoken word artist captures her audience with eloquence and grace. The photographer with a lightning shutter. The stay-at-home parent with their bedtime stories.
“Where are you taking me? Please, can we go someplace…wonderful?”
The thing with Gollum is that he believed the voices that cursed him. What voices are you believing? What names are they giving you?
And isn’t it true that the worst names of all come from within…
And so we ask “Jesus, who do You say I am”?
And God answers us the same way He did to the church at Ephesus. His response to children…and the reminder that that is what we are. Belief in an Authority with power enough to acquit the accused is the surest way home. Knowing what to believe is far easier than the act itself.
And so we ask “Lord, help me believe.” Because sometimes we don’t. Sometimes I doubt.
And so we desperately cry “Lord, help my unbelief!”
Who names you? Who is the you in your poetry? In your work?
What name are you believing?
Focus Shapes Image
The focus of the writer shapes the image of the writing. If you writing something dark focus on that which reminds your listeners to remember the sound of trees and the softness of the wind and how much value they place on it. That it’s unjust to sit comfortably within earshot of trees while darkness is happening around them. That it’s their responsibility to rescue those that need it and bring them into the forest filtered light (And so you too parent, programmer, and photographer. Theologian, politician, and philosopher. You too.)
As creatives, we have the ability to ask the question “what can I write/draw/paint/photograph/etc that will change them?” Because if I can enact change in a person on a person-by-person basis, then I can change things that are far outside myself like gang violence, rape, or bullying.
There’s a LOT of art in this world. As there is a lot of buildings, widgets, lines of computer code, and parents.
But what you do changes the world around you, and that world around you matters. And that which matters around you, matters to others. And the stuff of Earth is really just made up of others that matter. So create, for in so doing you’re changing the world.
Your turn! I want to hear how you change the world in the day-to-day with whatever is you do in the comments!