A good friend of ours who lives in Davis, California, with her family is a floral designer. She is brilliant in many ways: a devoted wife and mother, a passionate scientist with a Master's degree in molecular genetics, and an innovator with a refined eye for floral arrangements. With the discipline of a scientist, she learned the art of floral design, and continues to hone her craft with every bouquet and boutonniere she assembles. Her hands, her eyes, and her imagination are guided by something in her that informs her when her work is complete. As an artist, one who leads a creative life, striving for the beautiful is a life-long endeavor. It is, as with other creatives, a mission - an obsession - for a meaningful communion with a divine designer.
Leonardo da Vinci illustrated a book written by Luca Pacioli called De divina proportione in the late 1500's. It was a book on geometry that explored the golden ratio (1.618....) and its significance in mathematics. For artists, mathematicians, architects, and scientists, the Golden Ratio represented something universal, if not divine. It offered a notion that underneath the seemingly random beauty of nature, there was an intelligence, or an intentionality, to the design that connected all things. A star inscribed in a pentagon and the proportional lengths of the bones of the fingers possess the golden ratio. The spiral of a nautilus shell and the arches of a cathedral possess the golden ratio. Art is imbued with a natural law.
The creative life is all about tapping into that natural law. When our floral designer friend steps back from a bridal bouquet she has just finished and nods with satisfaction, she may say that the finished product is a result of her training mixed with intuition. From a deeper perspective, that moment of satisfaction is the instant she has tapped into the divine beauty of nature's design. When an architect creates a structure perfectly suited to its surroundings and its inhabitants, she has communed with the divine designer. When a poet, writer, composer, and playwright create pieces that speak to our hearts and souls, they have connected with a miraculous muse. When a painter has captured the essence of a landscape or the nuances of a face, he has tapped into the spirit spring.
The creative life is pleasurable and fulfilling, but it is just as painful and frustrating. The bouquet that is not symmetrical, the line that is off-center, the word that is just not accurate, the color that won't cooperate - these bug the heck out of a creative individual!
It is not about perfection, it is about peace. Like listening to the dissonant sounds of an orchestra tuning to each other that gradually harmonize, one achieves peace when a harmonious connection to each other and to the beautiful are made. A creative life is a quest, an arduous task, a commitment to be a conduit for nature. It is a quest for grace, beauty, and peace. The creative life is a mission for meaningful relationships with each other. It is to discover one's own creative spirit, given courage by divine grace.