The Zen of Creativity


“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”  – Charles Mingus

A perfect example of that is found in sumi-e brush painting.  It is a style of Oriental art that is very zen.  With a minimum of brush strokes, you capture the essence, the energy, the “chi” of an object.  While many of these ancient paintings are strictly black and white, the concepts can be brought into colorful watercolor painting too.

11"x14" watercolor

Cascades of Blue 11″x14″ watercolor               by Patricia Robin Woodruff

The poetry I like is the same way, with phrases that strikes right to the very heart of the feeling.  Like the mystic poet, Rumi said:

“Roses open laughing.”

He describes the beauty and joy of nature blooming in a way that makes my heart bloom open as well.  That to me is the pure beauty and gracefulness of chi in poetry.

So that leaves me with the question, how do we bring our life in alignment with chi?  Meditation and yoga occur to me.  But where I find myself the most in line with the energy of the Universe is through the creative arts… when I am lost in writing a story or time totally disappears while I am painting.  So as an affirmation for this day:

“I open myself to the energies of the Universe.  It is an unquenchable source for me to draw inspiration from.”

– Patricia Robin Woodruff