A Thought About Giving
Today I was working on a painting that was intended as a gift. Its warm hues beckoned me to stay within my normal range, but a part of me felt conflicted. It’s recipient was a fan of cool, crisp statements. Begrudgingly, I worked in the temperatures I usually avoid, examining how the new lines and colors interacted with my mood. It was hard to format myself to someone else’s creative language. Mulling over the situation, I had a moment of clarity.
What made this gift sentimental was not its ability to check off stylistic criteria that portrayed another person’s taste. This gift was special to its recipient because it was an extension of its creator, me. At times I forget that this same truth, which I preach to others, also applies to myself. Those who create a positive impact on my life simply want to interact with me on my most genuine level of being.
Constant creative expression occurs as we make food, make conversation, make time, and so on. Underneath seemingly involuntary acts is a dense orchestration of personal expression. When we share some form of personal expression with another, we give them an expansion of ourselves. Like when people refer to something they’ve given lots of time and energy and they refer to it like one of their children–they’re exactly right. Through creating, we expand our being to make it more accessible, portable, tangible. By being aware of those creations, we become more self-aware. This causes me to reflect: What and how am I giving? What does this tell me? As well, it also leads me to the questions: What and how am I receiving? What does this tell me?
Visualize the place where all your giving and receiving takes place. Be curious. See what you can learn from it.
Be inspired by those (for me they are often children) who understand the value of what they have created as an extension of understanding the value of the creator.