I have been rereading Stephen R. Lawhead’s “Empyrion” series. (It’s a two-book series, not sure how to refer to that, probably not a “dilogy”.) Lawhead is best known for writing fantasies and historical fiction, all laced through with Celtic lore. He also wrote a little science fiction.
Empyrion is the story of a planet colonized by Earth. The main protagonist of the story, Orion Treet, sets out from Earth to visit the colony that was established a few years before the story begins. When he arrives, he discovers that he is 3,000 years into the future. (Due no doubt to the crazy things that happen when you travel via wormholes–you know what I’m talking about.)
He discovers two societies have developed over the millenia. One, referred to as Dome, is an agoraphobic, paranoid and evil place of darkness, a society that has developed inside an immense dome (think “Truman Show”), shutting out the rest of the planet, using fear and violence to subjugate the population.
The other society, Fierra, is just the opposite. People at peace with themselves, their creator, and all of the riches of the planet. No poverty, war, disease. Complete freedom. Pain? Of course. In, fact their society at one time had been obliterated by the inhabitants of Dome. But they rebuilt their society, responding to pain with grace, a refusal to make war, rejecting the concept of retaliation, no longer “an eye for an eye”. A wonderful vision of what life could be if we let go of our fear, our aggression. I see it as a picture of what some of us refer to as the kingdom of God.
All of this is backstory to what I am blogging about…
In the story, one of the protagonists is being instructed in the arts. Her instructor explains the importance of balance:
Do you see it? Balance! As in life, all elements are equally important. It is self-evident: Exclude one and the work is flawed. Without the physical, there is no substance; without the emotional, it has no heart; without the mind, it has no direction; and without the spiritual, the work has no soul. All elements are necessary. All must be maintained in balance.
I love how this sets the tone for this new season in my life, my new venture.
There are things that I have to do. Practical things. Physical. I need to use the computer, play my instruments, attend to physical self-care by taking walks. I have mentioned before that a mantra for me is “Do what you love.” to which I have added: “And love doing it.” The former is my intention, but the latter must be what puts the wind in my sails. It has to come from the heart. I also need to work my art with skill and intelligence. Songs must have form. Melody and harmony must have pitch, rhythm and orchestration.
Body, heart, mind, and finally: soul. What I have to give is a gift given to me by the Creator. In order to touch others, to serve, to bless, to love, I simply need to let go my own agenda and take the creative gifts given to me and make something beautiful and inspired. I must sculpt using only heavenly clay. I can’t do this out of my own strength, emotion, and intellect–well I suppose I could, but it wouldn’t be of any lasting value; it wouldn’t transcend.
To create from the Center, in perfect balance, in love: that is how I want to live. As a good friend of mine says: “Let the kingdom come!”