Sunday, August 7, 2016

True North

The words "True North" make me think of home: of Canada's national anthem, glowing hearts, ice-coated eyelashes, and northern lights. Those two words conjure a life that seems far removed from the one I live in Seattle, though the memories still sing to my deepest self. When I hear the words True North here I find a different context related, one that asks after dreams unburdened by reality and purpose in compass form, a single driving force by which one steers one's life.

Last year I took a course called The Artist's Way, which is based on a book by the same name, and found myself again coming upon this idea of a True North.

Let's be honest: the idea of having a single purpose terrifies me. I live my life flitting from one experience to the next and holding close that which suits me for as long as it continues to do so. Even trying to define my purpose as "embracing new experiences" or "discovering as much of the world that is good and pleasing as I can" fills me with great terror, feels too restrictive.

I've come to embrace phrases like "Renaissance woman," yet that doesn't feel like my life's purpose so much as a pretty accurate description of my varied interests and activities.

If I look at the sum of my experiences, though, each one is an act of creation. Each one is a moment of discovery. Each one is a decision to bring something new into the world.

I create. This is why I am. This is what makes me. That act of creation. That engagement with art.

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