So, it has been some time since I’ve written on this blog — which Brooke pointed out to me so eloquently yesterday. (I believe the comment was, “Update your blog, dude.”) In my defense, it’s been a busy past few weeks, as I’ve been in Vermont and Iowa for a week each, and had The Gathering garage sale sandwiched in the middle. But, for Brooke and the few others who read my blog, I will now resume my normal blog writing schedule of 3 or so posts a week, for the rest of my life.
Today, a quote from Dorothy Sayers’ Mind of the Maker, a book exploring the Trinitarian Creative God and humanity made in God’s image:
“Here, you!” he will cry, “you have some trick, some pass-word, some magic formula that unlocks the puzzle of the universe. Apply it for us. Give us the solution to the problems of civilization.”
This, though excusable, is scarcely fair, since the artist does not see life as a problem to be solved, but as a medium for creation […] If, therefore, we are to deal with our “problems” in “a creative way,” we must deal with them along the artist’s lines: not expecting to “solve” them by a detective trick, but to “make something of them,” even when they are, strictly speaking, insoluble.
Sayers argues that too often we look at life as a problem to be solved, rather than as a medium for creation. Not only artists, but all creative types (which, if you ask me, means everyone) are called to create — to make new things — when faced with “problems.” An example she gives is the “problem” of death, mainly that we feel a “resentment and exasperation” in the face of death — by the notion that anything in this world should be inevitable. Our efforts are not directed to make something new out of the problem, but to “solve” the problem. Of course, the problem of death is insoluble. It can only be faced with creativity.
In closing today (I’ll expound in coming days) I offer a creative “solution” to death — a poet’s take:
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
Crossing the Bar, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.