Creativity Quotes & Poetry
For more than forty years, we’ve been collecting quotes and poetry that support the practice of process art. We’re happy to have this space to share some of our favorites with you.
This is what fires our hearts, is it not? To feel ourselves free to love and to live. Unbullied and unbullying. Unhaunted by a conscience made guilty by social pressures and expectations. To act from source freely.
By acknowledging the emotion, dropping whatever story we are telling ourselves about it, and feeling the energy of the moment, we cultivate compassion for ourselves.
A deep wisdom flows through even the most objectionable circumstances, if we but stop and listen to what is truly calling us instead of just reacting. When we finally drop the pretension of knowing what should happen next and we let “what is” be what is, we are free.
Give yourself to the images which are, in fact, already there.
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A hand moves, and the fire’s
whirling takes different shapes:
All things change when we do.
The first words “Ah,” blossoms into
Each of them is true.
To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking.
Unknowing, if one can be open and vulnerable, will take us down to the very deeps of knowing, not informing the mind but coursing through the whole body, artery and vein — provided one can thrust aside what the world calls common sense, that popular lumpen wisdom that prevents the emerging of the numinous.
“For life — I am sure of this — is not transforming energy, but transforming person. Energy is the means. Being is not what but whom. It is Presence in whom and before whom we show ourselves. Let us ride our lives like natural beasts, like tempests, like the bounce of a ball or the slightest ambiguous hovering of ash, the drift of scent: let us stick to those currents that can carry us, membering them with our souls. Our world personifies us, we know ourselves by it. Let us then speak to each other in our most intimate concern.”
M.C. Richards, from Centering
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at where you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
T.S. Eliot (from East Coker)
The blank paper before you holds mystery
longing for form.
Creation awaits the birth coming from you
and yet is beyond you.
Like a child it has its own trials, triumphs
and destiny to fulfill.
Give this painting being a chance!
Nurture it. Delight in its first movements,
Allow it to stumble and find its own way.
Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling they’re given wings.
The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed identity. We have to be able to relax the psychic and spiritual cramp which knots us in the painful, vulnerable, helpless “I” that is all we know as ourselves.
Thomas Merton, from Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
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