Creativity and Loss

Artwork by Annika Kristin Illustration
Audio track by Kevin Shinn, ©55 Degrees, 2021

All loss isn’t equal. But all loss must be grieved.

There isn’t a gold standard or a canon that outlines the right way to grieve. Loss hits us all so differently because the circumstances surrounding the loss are so different.  I only hope by adding my voice to the mix, there might be someone out there that resonates with the choices I’m making and take solace or comfort in feeling seen in their pain.

The way I choose to go about dealing with my loss isn’t about reading the right book or following a road map. But it is about listening to my heart and body and taking their opinion into account. I glean insight and wisdom from a variety of people that have suffered loss, especially those who’s loss doesn’t look like mine.  I can learn hope from those who have experienced the loss of a child, the loss of a physical home, the loss of mobility or even the loss of joy.  

Loss is absence. And it doesn’t have to mean the absence of something good. But it has to be dealt with nonetheless.

Loss creates a void, an empty space that causes a vacuum that wants to draw something back into its place. Understandably so.

And this is where mistakes get repeated. The void demands to be filled, and oftentimes, it gets filled with something all too familiar.

A person can lose a partner to divorce, but it feels more like a death. And vice versa. And the deep cavity in the heart needs tending, in order to prevent the same mistakes from happening again (and again).

I’m at a new juncture in my loss and new identity. The heavy lifting of processing and paying attention over the last year has enabled me to develop new emotional muscle. It wasn’t a passive stage, but it was still very inward focused.  I’m asking my heart and body, “what’s next?”

The void needs to be filled. This is normal human nature and requisite.  What will fill it is the $64 dollar question.

Enter the creative process.  Creativity is the ability to point to something new that did not previously exist and say, “I did that. I made that happen.” Creativity puts something on display that is a direct result of the work of my hands, my energy, my vision.

I haven’t uploaded a blogpost in a while because I’ve been putting my creative energy toward new things. I’m working on a concept for a second book.  I have a new culinary venture that I am launching in May. And I have returned to draw from a long-lost well that I love so dearly: Writing music. It’s all my attempt to fill the void. I want to look back on my creation, in the same way my Creator did on the 7th day and say:

It is very good.

Taking note of the ancient text of Scripture is profoundly important to me, but it can be easy to become so familiar with it, that eventually I become unfamiliar with its richest meaning. In order to remedy that, I create musical soundbeds to lay the text upon so I can listen to it on a walk or in the car.  I have no intention for them other than private edification. I have posted one of my recent creations for you to observe how the creative process works for me.

Make room. Don’t hold back.

Audio track by Kevin Shinn, ©55 Degrees, 2021

2 thoughts on “Creativity and Loss”

  1. Your blogs are always so meaningful and each one of us can relate in our own way. I’ve enjoyed reading each one.

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