The Ritual of Creation
This month’s b.read.crumbs post by Julie Herman, which you may find in the original on her website.
I have been in a tussle recently with my creative self. I keep trying to draft new scenes that feel flat, keep searching my inbox for a happy letter from one of the agents I have queried with a finished project, keep hoping for a sign that I am doing the right thing following this creative path.
Creating is a lot like faith. We trust that we will tell a story, paint a picture, sing a song that someone else. Implicit within the creating is that someone out there will receive our efforts and benefit from that experience. My reading about writing lately has included a lot of stories about writing rituals. Some writers create a writer’s shrine upon their desk to gaze upon for inspiration. Some have a ritual that gets them in the mood to meet their muse. Shrines. Ritual. Both of those are things that are also tied to faith.
My faith practice is Judaism. Jews are big on ritual. (Well some of us anyway, we’re no more a monolith than any other religion.) One of the things traditional Judiasm provides is a prayer to say before doing almost everything. (There is no prayer to say before doing Mitzvot, because that might slow someone down and doing good deeds is just too important to have any obstacles to the doing.) While it had not occurred to me before, I wondered if there wasn’t a prayer before creating. After all, the first act of G-d was to create.
A few moments of internet searching later, I found that while there did not seem to be a prayer before creating that was long-standing, they do exist.
On the website, https://www.myjewishlearning.com, Rabbi Adina Allen says:
“Yet, the Torah teaches that creativity is our very birthright and foundational to Judaism. The first three words of the Torah are Beresheit bara Elohim — “In the beginning, God created.” God’s first act is one of creativity. Only a few verses later we read that humans are created b’tzelem Elohim (“in the image of God”). If God is, first and foremost, a creator, and we are created in God’s image, then we too are created to be creators. Each of us is endowed with creative capacity simply by being human.”
So there it is. I am commanded to listen to this voice within me. Commanded to release this creative self… commanded to spill the story that I dream of onto the page.
So this morning, I lit my candle again, and now, thanks to Rabbi Allen’s inspiration, I created a prayer to say as I begin…
Blessed art Thou, o Lord our G-d. Thank you for the work of your creation. Thank you for forming us in your image and for imbuing us with the urge to create. May the time I spend today creating be a reflection of my love for You and my fellow human beings, and may it bring brightness to the world.
#morninghappiness is this website selling merchandise with logos designed by children. Love is love y’all.
You can read previous issues of b.read.crumbs here.
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