Some of us used to get into a lot of trouble when were kids. We were always testing the limits . . . the limits of what was safe . . . the limits of rules and authority. There was always an aspect of challenging what was tried and true, what was acceptable, normative behavior. Why was it that our explorations landed us in such deep shit, while others seemed content with milder forms of rebellion and self assertion, and stayed safely in-bounds?
Maybe it is rationalization, but it seems the creative spirit, by definition, is driven out-of-bounds, into new territories, into more radical forms of self expression. Of course what is forgiven us in our youth, the offense we may cause to others and to our bodies and spirits, is not necessarily so easily annulled in adult life. And this is a good thing. For we need our energy and our spirit intact for productive creative work. The creative drive, relatively unchanneled in youth, has presumably, hopefully, found it’s home in our painting, or composing, or writing.
Nevertheless, it may be we carry some excess energy for exploring the fringes of life that continues to need expression in a wild side, in a daring side, in a side that has the courage to be vulnerable to what is not totally safe, or understood, or acceptable. A daring exploration of life creates a body of experience which is the subject of our creative work, either explicitly or in an underlying way.
What constitutes daring is different for each of us. For some, it is skipping church sunday for a few months, allowing for a little distancing from G-d. And that can be radical and scary, but also instructive. For others, daring can be extreme sports and thrill seeking, like skydiving, or sheerface mountain climbing. For others, daring can be playing the dating game of a 25 year old at the age of 53.
We each choose our own poison, that poison which provides revelation, inspiration, and from which we have some confidence that we can recover.
The downside of this daring participation in life is that we may be swept away in the exploration, lose site of the target. The target is maximum creative energy channeling productively into our projects. there needs always to be a part of us that is out of body – monitoring our activity, reminding us a the self-imposed limitations necessary to be sure this activity does not overwhelm us, or destroy us, but rather charges us for our work.
We should be full of feeling, full of passion from our daring experience of life. But we should be safe, and we should care and respect the other person’s right to be safe, and not to be hurt. We are creators, after all, not destroyers. We can recognize every individuals right to stretch, and grow, and assert themselves. We can support the other individual’s efforts. We don’t need to be jealous, or threatened, or feel contained. There is room for each of us and our expressions. There is a profound integration of all the experiences we walk through each day that can teach us, can inform our own walk and work, if we have eyes to see.
Walk a daring walk through life. Be charged by everything going on. And channel everything into productive creative work.