Keeping the Creative Fires Burning

“The world is violent and mercurial—it will have its way with you. We are saved only by love—love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent; being a writer; being a painter; being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love.”

Tennessee Williams

A friend posted this quote on Facebook this morning. It was a gem in my newsfeed, glittering darkly amidst a colorful cacophony of political posts, vacation pictures, and LOL cats. I held each word for a moment – violent, mercurial, love, burning – and then, as the bigger concept coalesced in my mind, I was surprised to realize that the idea of living in Williams’ burning building was actually comforting.

Making time in our lives for any creative endeavor is a challenge, but the effort seems particularly Herculean today. Not only is the house burning, but the entire world is ablaze – global warming, political unrest, racial tensions, Brexit, wars, not to mention the dumpster fire of American politics. And yet, even in these precarious times, we feel compelled to write. The fire in our hearts yearns to escape the secret confines of our minds and leap into the conflagration of the real world where it might ignite passion (or at least curiosity) in someone else.

The interesting thing about fire is that while it can be an instrument of destruction, it also provides inspiration, warmth, and fuel. Fire can consume, but it also helps us to build and create. Staring into a fire, it’s impossible not to be drawn into thoughts of the balance between light and dark, the truth of ashes to ashes and dust to dust, and the dream of the phoenix. It is impossible not to think about the metaphorical fires that burn inside us.

And yet, even when the fire burns down and the ashes turn cold, there is always a spark or a coal buried deep, just waiting for the right conditions to spring back to life as a dancing flame that lights up the darkness, bringing hope and warmth and the power to pierce the night. Our creative fires never truly go out. They may burn low for a while, or even disappear underground; but then something to turn the earth over, exposing the smoldering coals to the air, and we’re ablaze again.

 

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Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings.  Off the blog, please introduce yourself on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.

This post originally appeared on the Live to Write – Write to Live blog.
Photo Credit: Christian Ferrari Flickr via Compfight cc

11 thoughts on “Keeping the Creative Fires Burning

    • Hello, old friend! 🙂 ❤
      You are so right – cleansing and rebirth through fire … so true.
      Thank you for the reminder.

  1. This was so well-written. I just posted a new blog this afternoon and found you by while scrolling through all the posts.
    And sometimes I need a fire under my butt to finish a piece of writing. Just saying!!
    mywritedrawer.wordpress.com

    • Thank you very much. It was a little spur of the moment, but I’m glad that you happened upon it and that it maybe lit a tiny fire under your butt. 😉 Thanks for coming by!

  2. Your post today has inspired me to keep being the kind of writer I believe I was born to be. This world is full of such horror distress and violence that I will as long as I breathe and have a pen in my hand and a computer WRITE. My stories are always written to inspire (Ihope) LOVE and the desire for better in the lives of others. I called my blog site Passionate Creative Christian because that is what the blog is all about. Not about preachy stuff but what maturity and experience of life has imparted to me and what I passionately desire the younger generation to aspire to leave in the world. Suddenly Jamie yes you renewed the fire I have in every part of me. The pen is more powerful than the sword and through our pens we should all be trying to turn others to what is better, purer and worth having and indeed LOVE is the HIGHEST aspiration of the human condition. Love for the creatures and the people around us. Thanks for post.

  3. Reblogged this on Metal therapy. and commented:
    You may construe some of the language as a bit corny, but oh well, your loss in this instance. I was literally just about to begin a piece on creativity and reigniting your passion – seems like this is the perfect metaphorical and literal post! Nicely written, Ms. Wallace.

  4. “even when the fire burns down and the ashes turn cold, there is always a spark or a coal buried deep, just waiting for the right conditions to spring back to life as a dancing flame that lights up the darkness, bringing hope and warmth and the power to pierce the night. Our creative fires never truly go out. They may burn low for a while, or even disappear underground; but then something to turn the earth over, exposing the smoldering coals to the air, and we’re ablaze again” ~ I just love this section is so very true. Thank you so much for this wonderful article Jamie. Many Blessings 🙂 ❤

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