A Song so Beautiful . . .: Creativity and Power
Somedays I doubt.
We all do.
Somedays I doubt that my truth is true. I doubt that creative power can change the world.
This doubt is born out of the frustration, anger, and toxicity spouted so often by mainstream media, or political pundits, in order to get clicks. Because anger, drama, and pain sell more than beauty, hope, and love.
On those days of lost faith in the power of creativity, I seek more sources of creative power, and remind myself that creativity isn’t just about sunshine and unicorns. It too can be about pain, sadness, anger, frustration. I often turn to music, where songs can carry you through the entire spectrum of human emotion, and as they do they heal and purge.
Sad songs may bring tears to your eyes, or cause you to wail in despair, but then you can breathe again. Angry songs carry you into the rhythm of their music, making you ready to fight, to scream, to destroy—and then you stand tall.Here, in Massachusetts at least, the beginning tones of Sweet Caroline brings everyone together, even for just a moment. I have never witnessed a person in a crowd not joining into the chorus:
Where it began, I can't begin to knowingBut then I know it's growing strong
Hands, touching hands Reaching out, touching me, touching you
Sweet Caroline Good times never seemed so good I've been inclined To believe they never would Was in the spring And spring became the summer Who'd have believed you'd come along
One song unifying everyone there to witness it, even if they are rooting for the opposing team, or on different sides of an issue.
Music leads us into story, guiding us through what we expect. Think about a movie soundtrack, where the music warns when danger is coming, when hearts are broken, when to laugh, when to scream, and when to cry.
Have you ever thought about the soundtrack to your life? What would it be like?
We all don’t like the same music, of course. Just as we all don’t believe in the same things, read the same books, dream the same dreams. We respond from our individual perspectives, and yet that music enables us to come together in discussion at least. Sometimes it has the power to divide as well.
But that’s the point, I guess. Music has power. Creativity has power. Imagination has power. The power can be wielded in different ways, and that’s part of the wonder of creative power. It’s up to us, as groups and individuals to use this power as we see fit.
In that sense, we may never all come together. Perhaps that is where my doubt comes from. For creativity does unite, but it can also destroy.
Still, I would rather people discover this power and use it with their best intentions, then have it pushed aside by those who fear it.
So in the end, I stand by my truth, and sing it out to the world. It is, I hope
A song so beautiful it brings the world back into tune.
from Hadestown, the musical.
If you believe in the power of creativity, please help me publish RE-CREATING THE WORLD: THE POWER AND JOY OF COLLABORATIVE CREATIVITY, by contributing and sharing.