A blank period in creativity


I have always been blessed as a creative person. I have had some down times and they were all part of the entire picture of being creative.

This year has been different. It’s been a black time. A time of “non-inspiration” where I not only found a blankness within myself, but where I had lost my desire to really create. It is a black dark hole I had fallen into.

My thinking and reasoning patterns had been shattered since God took back my love and left me here trying to find myself again. With her passing, my soul, a great window made of endless individual unique shards, had been fractured.

I sat here, seven months later, still gathering the pieces. I saw all these fragments before me and had not been able to put them together. I lived in disbelief that this process has been so slow and I have had so many setbacks. I don’t know. I was having a hard time finding the incentive to even attempt putting them together. Every time I think I had gained a new understanding, I became lost again and the soul’s realm became even more complex.

I needed to break this pattern so I can continue to gather and start fitting the elements of my life together. I had not worked on my paintings for weeks. Every day I planned on working on them and every day I found an excuse not to.

I needed to break this pattern.

The Holy Spirit gave me a tub of super glue. Now I need the incentive to use it. Yes, even with super glue, evidence of all the cracks in my soul will be there. I accept and understand that now.

I have filled my schedule with more classes at the prison and other organizations in this area. With my personal painting and writing schedule you would think that would be enough but I don’t know. I’m not sure I am going in the right direction. I have spent a lot of time in prayer and have listened to many religious sermons. I have a few friends and those in the ministry who have been a great help. I’m very fortunate to have special people to help me bring the fragments of my soul together.

I am headed toward my painting easel today to start (or restart) building the fragments into a whole again. It’s going to take a push to get myself going again. I think I’m doing good, but then the tears begin to flow again. My glasses steam up, and once again I have lost control over my emotions. Is there any good that can come of this? I don’t know.

Ah… now I am back on the right track. I turned the light on over my painting easel. Now the big question is will I or won’t I start to paint?

I broke the dry spell and I think I have finished “Out of the Darkness, Hope Springs Eternal.” Now to finish “Transitions.” That will not be an easy task. Both of these paintings were started before we knew my wife had terminal liver cancer, but both seemed appropriate for this time we had together.

So I ask myself, is the black period over? Am I on my way out? I certainly hope so. I am very tired of being in this state. I want to start creating again. I want to start living again. I know all will be different. That’s what life is, different each day. I have grown closer to God during this time. I don’t know yet where His “will” will place me, or exactly what I will be doing.

I have no plans that He couldn’t easily interrupt, so I hope He will… and provide those inspiring creative moments I now so dearly appreciate.

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Harry Croghan

Contributing Columnist

Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. He can be reached at 740-852-4906 or by e-mail at hrcroghan@icloud.com.