While suffering can be a lifelong project, as well as a fruitful journey of self-discovery, creativity can indeed, then, be the beautiful transponder that can grow from each suffering experience.
I once heard my grandmother tell me that, “All we are is what we have the courage to create, at any given moment.”
She said this as she mended a silk velvet coat, trailing underneath her feet in billows of shadows that spilled through her sun room. Even though my family has often seemed nearly tragic at times, what they have always been able to do is create intricate and authentic works of art in the process. This is what has saved us all, I believe, from going quite mad.
This can be experienced in viewing the larger-than-life colorful oil paintings by my artist father, the handmade silk kimono-made fashions designed by my mother, and in the beautifully strange and iconic independent films made by my sister, all of which inspire the creative mind and heart to wonder what could possibly be more important than the artist’s goal of simply making true art, in order to survive the present.
If it is true that one must suffer and be dark in order to produce great work, than I fully understand. This is a concept I have lived, as do other artists, but not merely in a romantic way so that I can be writing this at this very moment. Rather, the suffering and difficult period of one’s life can be lived even more fully and deeply, so that beautiful and inspiring works of art can be produced in order to make some sense of it all.
While researching both creativity and courage for my new book, I came across the following quotes that may just inspire you to think differently about how you approach your life, your supposed traumas, and how you can gain beauty, truth and wisdom by always thinking courageously as your most authentically creative self.
So here they are, enjoy and learn…
1) “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
~ Lao Tzu
2) “You may overcome many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome.”
~ Maya Angelou
3) “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
~ Edgar Degas
4) “Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go—purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything ….whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”
~ Tina Turner
5) “Everything you can imagine is real.”
6) “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
~ Martin Luther King. Jr
7) “The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”
~ Theodore H. White
8) “Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.”
~ Eric Hoffer
9) “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
~ Andre Gide
10) “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
~ William Shedd
11) “I have had all of the disadvantages required for success.”
~ Larry Ellison
12) “My invitation to you is to begin living every moment as though you are miraculous and deserve to live an extraordinary life. Fake it if you must and keep faking it until it’s real to you. the gift you will be giving yourself is a lifelong journey of discovery, one that is infinitely rewarding. Begin the journey. Today. This moment. Now.”
~ Robert White
13) “Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of the human spirit.”
~ Ansel Adams
14) “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
~ Mahatma Ghandhi
15) “I shut my eyes in order to see.”
~ Paul Gauguin
16) “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.”
~ William Blake
17) “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better, the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again. Because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause.
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt
18) “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has ever known.”
~ Oscar Wilde
19) “But if you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself.”
~ Carl Jung
20) “Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.”
~ Rita Mae Brown
21) “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
22) “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”
23) “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
~ Georgia O’Keefe
24) “I find that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh
25) “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
26) “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
~ Albert Einstein
27) “Do the thing that you fear and keep doing it…that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”
~ Dale Carnegie
28) “Human potential is the same for us all. Your feeling, ‘I am of no value,’ is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought—so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master.”
~ The Dalai Lama.
29) “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci
30) “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue constantly. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage,”
~ Maya Angelou
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: Wiki Commons
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