At the Heart of Making
What is it that compels us to create? I can not speak for others, but I craft and shape things, be that code or wood or words, because I can’t help it. There is something pushing and prodding to get out, to be formed and molded until it is alive. At some level I create because it gives me purpose.
We’re all looking for purpose, looking for the reason we exist, and creating helps us feel like we have purpose. We take part in making something that was not there before. Maybe it is because we didn’t exist at one time, that we were created and so we connect with our own genesis in the creative work. Whatever the reason, there is a very real satisfaction and even spiritual connection with the act of making.
Everyone I know has this yearning for making somewhere inside them. It plays itself out in a myriad of ways, but it’s always there, under the surface. My wife loves to bake, and yes we both love good food, but it’s more than that. She loves to produce something tangible, something delightful, something that brings a smile to people’s faces. My friend Winn crafts words, Justin speaks life into people, Ashley illuminates the world through her camera, Brett makes perfect pixels, Trey sings (and brews and writes and teaches), Kyle is a carpenter and photographer in one, and my buddy Matt enjoys cultivating his lawn. Each of us has a longing to leave something here on earth that leaves a part of ourselves.
One of the biggest challenges of being a creative, is knowing the imperfections of our work. I know every rough edge and marred corner of each thing I produce. We strive for beauty, but we know that our work is never perfect. I think the hardest thing about this is that in creating something imperfect we recognize the imperfections in ourselves. We see that our lives are not plumb and that we are not as courageous as we put on and that we have just as many doubts as we do answers.
In making, we have the opportunity to expose ourselves, to leave a piece of our lives for others. That is why it is so fulfilling and so terrifying.
In the end, we make to be known.
comments powered by Disqus