Diary of a Mad Creative: I create therefore I am. Pt. 18

What you do regularly is your religion. I don’t care what you call yourself. You may be a Muslim, a Methodist, or a member in good standing of the Church of God in Christ but what you do daily is your true religion.

If you only worship on high holy days or the sabbath but the rest of the year you are a money changer then no matter how you label yourself you are at heart a money changer before you are a Jew or a Gentile. If war is your occupation it is also your religion. You die by how you live. Your religion is the way you spend your days.

I  create. I create therefore I am. I make a way. A way to see it, say it, understand it, to bring it to you. I make things. I cause them to be. Theaters, troupes, actors, shows, audiences, applause, epiphanies… I create access. Access to stages, microphones, opportunities to shine, to show em what ya got, to tell em what ya need, to grow yourself, to the gift I was given. I use the talent to increase what is for myself and others. And I make damn good lemonade.

Being a creative gives you room to channel fear. A challenge is an invitation to triumph if you read it correctly. It’s true what you’ve heard; most of the troubled water in life is a matter of perspective, it’s an ill wind that blows no good. A creative is open to seeing.

I see. I look at things to see. I look into things. If my gaze catches it; it wants to penetrate it, to understand not just how it is but how it came to be and what it means. I think. I have been told I think too much. What a fine joke. That’s meant to be funny right? I thought it was the ability to reason that supposedly separated humans from lower primates. Apparently it can be a flaw; especially if it freezes you like a deer in the head lights but as a prelude to action, I encourage it enthusiastically.

I listen. I do more than hear. I listen to what is said, and what no one  is willing to admit they think, let alone say aloud. I listen to the silence. I listen to the dead. I listen to myself. I am willing to know. Despite the fact it is also true that to know imparts responsibility. Ignorance can feel blissful. Knowing requires you to act. If you do not act, know that your inaction is an action by default. You speak when you refuse to speak; you say it’s all good.

I speak. I say what I think. I say what I see. I say things the dead whisper to me in my dreams. I listen to the shadows as they fall in the evening and I speak their thoughts.  I am a talker. I talk to power, to the powerless, to the dreamless and the dreamers. I speak.

I create. That’s my religion. I am the builder in my parable of the builder. I have learned to make what I need. I have learned to build for the sake of building. I have discovered that I am increased even when the gardens are for others. I understand the moral in “The Parable of the Talents”.

The Parable of the Talents

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.  Then he went on his journey.  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five.  “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five talents.  See, I have gained five more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

The man with the two talents also came.  “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Then the man who had received the one talent came.  “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.  See, here is what belongs to you.”

His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant!  So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

– Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)

We do not all start in the same place. Some are given more than others. We can all increase ourselves. We can all create another story from the one we are given. We are all in a position to go forward. We are all capable of being more than we are. We are all able to take what we got and make it more than it is, we can create what we need. We can take the most humble circumstance and turn them into the stage we shine on. We are all capable of making lemonade. We are all we need to create the life we want.

Creativity is my religion. The road is uneven but that keeps you alert. Sometimes the things I carry own me but it’s good to belong to something. Sometimes the things I stand for scare others into trying to box me in but I am my own razor. Sometimes the sorrow and pain I see weighs me down but the weight of it transforms into the beauty of knowing how many talents are on the table, then we know what the path to being increased looks like. Perspective allows me to hold truth and not explode, it also reminds me that dark clouds are liminal spaces where not knowing is a birth place for knowing. I don’t believe in luck as much as I believe in hard work. I value tears as much as smiles. There is a value in despair; it is a motivator. I respect my enemies and work to ensure they remember to fear me.  I would rather be joyful than happy. I am as happy giving as taking. I am a creative.

I create; therefore I am.

About Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I create; therefore I am.
This entry was posted in Black Arts, Craft, Life., North American African Perspective, Performing Arts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Diary of a Mad Creative: I create therefore I am. Pt. 18

  1. -aNc> says:

    You truly are one of the great writers of our generation, Ayo. You always conjure an intense reflection. You and your work are appreciated. I hope all is well in your house and your world.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Seven of One, Five of the Other: Half way through August Wilson’s Century Cycle | A.Nzinga's Blog

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