And so, create

So Dad would have been 99 years old today, if he hadn’t passed a few months before his 97th birthday. Where’s that “things that happened in 1923” card I bought him a couple of decades ago and never gave him? I saw it again recently while moving boxes from there to here.

A few of the records I own are 100 years old now — platters by Sir Harry Lauder and the like — it’ll soon be a century since the megaphone they sang into was replaced by an electronic microphone. When my Philco radio turns 100, I’ll be 88, or at least it will be the 88th anniversary of my birth.

Mmmm, I’ve been thinking a lot of thoughts about endtime lately. I need to focus less on endings, more on creations, I should think.

“There’s nothing new under the sun,” and yet there’s new stuff all the time. We were made in God’s image, and God is a creator. Every culture has a creation story, an “In the beginning.”

It’s all the same but different. A man imagines a world where he never existed, but it’s a different wonderful life than Frank Capra’s. A little girl travels to a fantastic world full of strange creatures and magical beings, but it’s not at all what L. Frank Baum thought of. A couple torn apart by war meet each other again in a different place, but not Casablanca. We are billions and billions of stories, with common themes and echoes of each other, but never quite the same as each other. There are archetypes and stereotypes and plain old types, but we mix together in infinite variations so that even the strangest story has an air of familiarity and, simultaneously, a sense of newness.

And here I am thinking about how creativity works when I began by contemplating how all things must end. “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The phoenix dies after 500 years of mystical flight, but another phoenix rises from the ashes.

We create something new every day. Oh, it may be a repetition of an old thought, but it’s framed against the freshness of this day. Maybe it’s not original enough to share, or maybe it is, and it’s a thought someone else is hearing for the first time, so share away. One person’s echo is another person’s epiphany, and so the dance of creation continues.

I am fascinated by what came before (Roger Mifflin is one of my favorite characters), because back in the past we can find so much in common with what comes next. The echoes teach us — what? tolerance? humility? You discover you’re not so smart, someone had that insight 100 years ago — but see how you incorporate that elder knowledge into what we have all learned in the meantime.

And so, create! Put pen to paper, brush to canvas, pixels on the screen. Craft something, make something, create! It will help you make sense of all this for yourself and, in the making and the sharing, for many other folks, too.

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