Artists, I’ve heard said, say creativity gets its life from the constraints of media. Creativity and constraint go hand in hand.
As I watch a friend begin the process of dying, I am aware of the constraining impersonal processes of mother nature. We are born by no act of our own and, by our own measure, the timing and course of our dying seems arbitrary.
Within these confines emerges what we call a “life”, an “identity”, a “purpose”, a “meaning”. We learn to love and to live joyfully, to play … and to strive and to fight and to kill. We emit belly laughs and anguished screams. We run naked in the rain and we shelter behind barriers of numbness … We know all this eventually will go on without “us”, without “me”, without “I” … and without you.
Those of us who are artists see constrained life and living as a call to creativity. As if we were Tibetan monks, we create an elaborate sand mandala, knowing all the time that a loving and impersonal wind will whisk it away.