Leaning into Creative Faith
Why do we create? What moves us from imagination to action? How do we trust in the process?
Creating anything – a poem, a home, a science experiment – requires faith. Even when we approach it with a shield of data, gather facts from the past to predict an uncertain future, and build a tower of approval and reassurance. There’s no protection against the unknown.
We take that leap into creation, mostly, because we believe. We may often feel “called to” create, as if an invisible force was pushing us in that direction. We can follow it, fight it, or ignore it. Faith is scary because it demands risks and it offers no guarantees. Yet the courageous process of creating can also be incredibly rewarding. It can offer a sense of serenity and flow, a sense of purpose, and a sense of connection with Mystery.
So how do we turn away from fear and lean into creative faith?
These are some of the questions I explore in my featured video poem “Creative Faith,” which I invite you to watch as it speaks for itself, in my own voice. Exploring this topic felt fitting for the first issue of Seven Senses. In so many ways, launching this newsletter is an act of creative faith and I hope you’ll take a leap with me.
This month’s journey for your senses – see, hear, smell, taste, touch, balance and envision – was curated to invite more creative faith into your life. Get curious and trust.
“In & Of Itself” | documentary performance by Derek Delgaudio
Read more details and watch on Hulu
This documentary has left a long-lasting impression and I often find myself thinking about it. Blending art, theater, and magic, “In & Of Itself” delves into topics of identity, illusion and everything in-between. The live shows took place in New York City between 2016-2018 and the documentary beautifully captures the experience. The performance demands incredible creative faith, both on the part of the artist and also from the audience. Have no expectations, be amazed.
“Black Focus” | music by Yussef Kamaal
Listen on Spotify - Apple Music - Youtube
Jazz requires more creative faith than any other music genre, both from listener and performer. Jazz musicians are masters of improvisation, opting for trust over control that the sound will carry them where they need to go. Listening to jazz is for me a lesson in letting go and learning how seeming discord can lead to true harmony. Jazz demands from its musicians that they both get out of the way and also reveal their most intimate selves. That’s what I was reminded of while listening to “Black Focus,” an album I recently discovered by Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams. The two artists came together for this project and performed in London in 2015-2017. Luckily for us, they managed to capture their raw and spontaneous sound in this unique album. As Yussef Dayes says, “It's not so much about complete arrangement, it's more about flow.”
“Durian on the Skin” | art exhibit at François Ghebaly (Los Angeles)
On view until October 22,2022
Durian is a South East Asian fruit, prickly on the outside and slimy on the inside, which is famous for its stinky smell but sweet taste.
The Los Angeles exhibit “Durian on the Skin” is highly olfactory and textural in nature. A visceral exhibit that explores “the body as a sensational hub of impulses and discharges,” showcased through skin-like hanging textures, bodily sculptures, and animal urine. I talked with Francois, gallery owner and friend, who introduced me to Candice Lin’s work. For this exhibit, she created a sculpture of an amorphous creature squirting wolf urine. Lin often works with scents and I was fascinated to also learn about another one of her works “Hormonal Fog,” which she created in collaboration with Patrick Staff. Their installation was designed to release a plant-based fog that alters our testosterone and estrogen, exploring our definitions and evolution of gender. “Hormonal Fog” was exhibited in numerous places, including at the New Museum (NYC) where attendees taking the elevator were sprayed by these botanical hormones. I love this idea.
The show “Durian on the Skin” also had me thinking about the scent of fruits, how their sweet fragrance is typically used to attract us, letting us know they’re safe to eat, and seducing us into spreading their seeds. But the durian seems to be an exception to that rule. Which had me wondering: are there any other smelly fruits which taste good? Let me know if you think of any.
Lilli Pilli | fruit
I’m lucky to live in California where a variety of produce grows year round. One of my favorite things to do is going to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, where some of the city’s top chefs source their ingredients. One of the perks is discovering new and niche produce. That was the case last week, when I came across my first Lilli Pilli. They look as cute as they sound: small and plump, rosy pink berries. The vendor let me try one and they tasted exactly as he described: light and fluffy, a cotton-like texture inside, subtle in flavor, with a floral aroma. I was told some people buy them to make jams or syrups and others to garnish their cocktails.
So here’s a little creative TASTE prompt: go to your farmer’s market or supermarket and try something out of the ordinary. It could be an exotic fruit or an heirloom vegetable making a comeback. Let the color, shape, texture and aroma guide you in the process.
Mystery poem | analog poetry by Kenshō studio
Available on kenshostudio.co
I’m an analog lover. I still read paper books. I still write with a pen and paper. And sometimes, I’ll even use a typewriter. I love the texture of paper, the smell of ink, and the unique visual details that only craftsmanship can offer.
If you’re the same way, you might enjoy one of my hand-written, wax-sealed poems. I include one with each Kenshō spiral tote. No two poems are the same and you won’t know which one you’ll get – each person receives what is destined for them. Take a leap of faith and get your Mystery Poem.
Jumbled Mantra | visual meditation by Kenshō studio
The featured visual meditation is part of my on-going series of “Jumbled Mantras.” Each month, I’ll include one to help you find balance. In the spirit of creative faith, I invite you to reflect on this message:
Safety in Mystery
You can contemplate the meaning of this phrase silently, or chant it repeatedly. Try to meditate on it with your eyes closed, or visualize it with a soft gaze. You can journal about it, or discuss it with a friend. There are endless ways to approach this meditation and I hope you choose what intuitively comes to you.
Video Poem | art by Kenshō studio
Every month, the featured image or video is a symbolic vision to help you ENVISION. The video poem “Creative Faith” was channeled during a creatively fervent time when I was also struggling with perfectionism, fear of rejection and other ego restrictions. I decided to put words and images to this on-going inner battle, which I believe every artist faces. Video poems are also available to watch on my site.