The power of creativity

I am reading Lisa Moore’s new book, “Flannery.” It’s classified as a “Young Adult” novel but to me it’s clearly a book that needs no classification; it is a book for all of us.
So read it. I implore you. You won’t be sorry.
Moore is able to capture the loss we experience as teenagers, when life gets complicated and hasn’t turned out as we hoped or as we expected, and we learn to find the solution within ourselves–the very essence of coming of age.
There are moments when we read someone’s work or examine an artist’s creation of visual art that we feel a connection; an invisible link that tells us we are not alone, where the words on the page have us nodding and finding comfort in being understood.
It is why we read and why we write and why we engage in the arts.
It is a well-explored philosophy that creativity can lead us out of depression. It is known to soothe those confined in prisons and it is why the arts must be a guarantee in education for children, especially in those areas of society where so many of the fundamentals in life are not present.
Where home life is fraught with danger; where a vision of the future is all but extinguished in the battle for survival.
Nurturing and encouraging creativity is known to improve achievement in basic learning. It makes good sense to keep that part of our brain stimulated.
I recently read about the poverty and slums of Sao Paulo in Brazil, where a music program initiative was provided in inner-city schools. One young man said of his lot in life that music and playing the violin silenced the angry beast that had taken up residence inside him.
I believe hopelessness is quelled by music, by creative writing, by visual art, by any opportunity to express one’s self. Art can take an ugly world and transform it into something beautiful.
When I connect with a book, when I find myself on its pages, that book becomes my friend–something I keep within reach so I can open it and re-find myself when need be.
“To Kill A Mockingbird” has been one of those books for me since I was in high school. When I can’t find my way in my writing, I need merely to pull that book from its place on my shelf and read a couple of pages and my creative soul is fed.
Lisa Moore’s writing does the same with its easy language and authentic characters.
Perhaps I will borrow the words of C.S. Lewis, who penned “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Screwtape Letters” to name just two. We read to know we are not alone.
Precisely.
wendistewart@live.ca

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