From the Sister Sinjin blog: What Does Creativity Look Like Within the Covenant and Constrictions of Life’s Obligations?
When we met for the first time we talked about creativity as our culture celebrates it: Freeing yourself from distractions, surrounding yourself with all things beautiful, being lost inside the space created for yourself whether in nature or a coffee shop, throwing off any labels the world has placed on you and discovering your true self. Who doesn’t want all of that from time to time?
We are at a different stage in our lives, however, where time for leisurely creativity is at a premium. And do we even want that? We all have families and loved ones that we’re not willing to sacrifice to art.
Elise threw out the phrase “Creativity of Obligation” as a topic for exploration. What does it mean to be creative while embracing the roles, responsibilities and obligations of mother, wife, friend, minister, employee, Christian?
What if creativity does not flow best into the limitless space we strive to create around ourselves? What if, instead, it is pressed out of us by the constant, repetitive, unending cycle of daily life? What if creativity is not the result of acting on our every desire, but rather what’s found after everything else has been drained from us?
Maybe there, in the uncomfortable realities of our lives is where creativity is expressed, because it must be in order to survive the exhausting and the mundane. Maybe creativity is more incarnation than transcendence.
Creativity of obligation requires us to show up with all our baggage and create something anyway.
Two weeks after we first met we began recording an album. We have carved out space though it has been brief and hard won. Most of our creative process, however, has happened with children surrounding us, in dirty kitchens and cluttered cars.
If we had all the time and resources in the world we could create something more grand, more elaborate, but not more beautiful. What results will be all of what we had to give in a brief period of time with pinched pennies and crying babies at our side.
Our obligations do not stop us from creating, they compel us.