What does control have to do with it?

by usethevoice

Mel in flight.
Ucluelet, B.C. June 2011


When you are being creative, do you feel in control?

Do you want to?

Is it a battle, an exchange or a standoff?

Is there a healthy balance?

These are the things I’ve been asking myself lately. As someone who definitely has my share of “control issues”, I have vacillated in my creative work, searching for sanctuary from where I feel I have no control or where I need to desperately let go of it. It’s the place where I get to be the boss and free from outside limits and yet, it’s full of limitations. Whether it’s time, materials, technology or even the frustrating attempt to properly interpret the genius that is going on in your head, there are always elements that demand control. I often imagine the creative process like putting a giant funnel over the limitless sentience that inspires us, with the attempt to filter it down into the limits of this reality. My creative-buddy, storyteller extraordinaire Shauna Born brilliantly cites the artists role as he/she who “makes order out of chaos.”

So what is it that we are fighting when the blocks and frustration comes up? The painful fact is that we can never make perfection and yet, the desire for perfection is what keeps many of us going. Can we control the Voice that presses us to speak, sing, write, paint….? Or is it the Voice that drives us, gnaws in our belly until we drop our tight grip of  “order” and surrender to the chaos to then create something of a new order?

I think we are the drivers in the vehicle of our creativity, but we might not be the gas, or even the road or the landscape. Sound precarious? Perhaps it is. Maybe that’s why we like it or crave it in this over-orderly world. The great road trip to meeting the realization of the impulse, trusting it has its own perfection, beyond what we might be able to conceptualize.

The adventure continues. How is it for you?