Dainty and Lovely Things (And Creative Process)

I stumbled upon a Tweet I wrote at the end of 2014.

I recall something took me away from my normal pattern - and I recorded the epiphany in 140 words. 

A floating thought solidified into something tangible.

If I did not express, I wouldn't have been able to return to this moment of revelation:

Creativity is giving yourself permission to suffer until something gives out through expression.

Recently, I've been pondering about the relationship between creative production and self contentment.

As a creative being, I find myself in a constant cycle of up's and down's. There are days when my creative flow feels inactive. There are other days when I produce like crazy, usually without the plan or intention of doing so. By crazy, I'm talking about explosive amounts of expression colliding with adrenaline, energy, and joy. These are moments when I feel like I'm flying even though my feet are still. After a long thread of mundane, I find myself in my prime element. 

Like that Katy Perry moment when she rises from fear and roars the whole forest to silence.

Source:  Buzzfeed

Source: Buzzfeed

If I don't act on the rising sparks of creativity, the potential for something remains stagnant and collects dust in an enclosed box. As long I try to ignore its existence, the creative juices hidden somewhere beneath the box beckons me to take a look. 

I woke up that afternoon feeling nothing less or more than normal. I had some flowers lying around. Next thing I know I'm standing by a window in a million poses to get the perfect lighting. Three hours later, I have 500 pictures. Exhausted and overwhelmed, I leave the images - until they haunt me back to themselves. Again, the beckoning of something - the responsibility of an artist, my perfectionist mindset, OCD?! - that tells me to take a peek and while I am at it, maybe share it with the world.

Regardless of the what, I produced and now I present. 

These images are not trying to say something or hold a deeper meaning beneath the surface. They are simply a reflection of who I am and where I am as a person and an artist. They are a process, not a completion. They are steps towards a destination, but not the destination itself. 

I realize this process applies to every aspect of life. 

Thoughts pass by and realizations evoke us constantly. But only an active choice to sit, reflect, and apply the passing moment provides the opportunity for growth. When we lose focus from daily distractions, the to-be revelation will return over and over again - until we give it the time and attention it needs to soak and absorb into our being.

Into a better, maturing version of you, renewing day by day, unseen now, but to be seen in the near future. 

To solidify a thought, I must act on it. 

As an artist, my action for the passing realizations manifests through creative expression.

Ephemerally Eternal

"Oh, you are here! Why isn't the TV on? Isn't it too quiet?"

My 19-year old cousin returned home to his quiet apartment. Not an unusual situation with the absence of a human being, but very strange when occupied. For me, however, this solitude was not just familiar, but comforting, and felt more like

home than home itself

Were you ever in the zone? A rare, but cherished moment when a rush of creativity takes over an otherwise mundane and routine space. It happened last night.

Words and ideas and visions took me afloat, and expressed itself through my fingers gliding across the laptop. I landed in the zone. I was unstoppable and invincible in that moment. I created words out of nothingness and made them come alive in front of my eyes in the blaring screen. Then the visualist in me jumped out, and I began to scour for images to reflect the written medium. 

One hour later, to my misfortune, I realized that the words from the overflow of the zone disappeared into the looming cloud of technology in a faraway world.

Unsaved, and therefore irretrievable. Refresh, refresh… nothing.

A rush of emotions, now in the form of agony and anger, shut the laptop closed and crawled into my bed. 

My eyes now closed, my brain worked its literary creativity again, and spewed out: "WHYYYY?!?!?! It was such a great reflection about the process, goals and experiences of life. A perfect 'hooray' into the new year as I left behind the old. It's forever gone. I can try to rewrite, but the essence is impossible to recreate. Ughhh!"

Scratch that, it was more like "ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH@?!%??#ihateyou!!!"

And much more complaints and word barfs. Like a pinball launched and jumping from one place to another, not knowing where it would land and if it will ever land.

Then the zone took over once again: "wait, that's the point! Everything in life we see is ephemeral and temporary. I can only see in part now, and must find satisfaction in the truth that process is an essential part of my journey into eternity."  

That somewhat (ehh) comforted my flustered heart, and I slept away the disappointment.

I'm not sure if your process is similar to mine. And the direction of this post is definitely going away from my lost reflective yesterday-entry expanding on "life happens, infused with both good and bad…but hey, good news! As the sun sets daily, it also rises (smiley face)." 

Which actually isn't untrue. 

To say the least, 2014 was the most accelerated and rich times in my 23 years of life. I felt like a participant in a marathon that jumps right in with the fire signal, into a race unpredictable - hence adventurous and wild - yet sometimes breathless. 

But I admit that the point of my previous entry was fluffed with a lot more icing than what I tasted in reality.

Come on friends, this is life we are talking about!


When you spell it out, you find a whole lot more lemons in there than lemonade. 

We often try to add sprinkles and icing on the top of the lemons to justify the present situation or to make it look more appetizing to others ("yeah it's hard….but hey, I'll be fine! Look, I'm eating well and visiting cool places and looking at beautiful things to make up for it all!")

Now back to my story about my cousin. This incident sparked a revelation during my one-month stay in Korea.

Life happens and sucks most of the time… and most people are too afraid to face it.

So, one way to avoid "it"? Sit in front of the colorful box called TV that replays repeated scenarios and shorelines and dialogues to drone out the undealt fears, questions, doubts, and insecurities inside. While a day worth of facing "it" (or all of the above) grows into a week-worth, a month, a year… and into decades of mess and mold - and you forget how it all began. 

That's just one example. And no, I'm not condemning anyone, because I am guilty of this "crime." And mind you, the point here definitely isn't the "harmful effects of TV."

The side of life (...or actually life itself), one full of misfortune and injustice, hit me like a ton of bricks recently. Not the first time, but definitely the most sobering and awakening… as if my future self came to rescue my sometimes-too-naive 23-year-old self. 

Over the years, my way to combat to face "it" was yes, a place of solitude. And no, I'm not talking about mindless meditations about life. Instead, I turn off everything that vibrates and flashes, close the doors behind me, and sit at an appointment with a dear friend of mine. 

His name is Jesus Christ.

During the times when I had no one to throw tantrums to or share exciting events with or simply ask questions to, He was and is fully, and often overwhelmingly, there. My time with him is the only lasting, heart-invading assurance that yes indeed "I will be okay." No, not just "okay," but I will (with tons of exclamation marks) come out of this mess shining brighter than ever.   

It will happen, not because I feel like it will, but because HE says so. He has been and will be the only one who never disappoints and remains faithful to all that He says he is.

After all, his middle name is the Way Truth and Life.

So, flowers and cake and glitter aside - that's my token for the new year. The grounds below may shake the life out of me, but I know the One who is forever secure. And that's enough for me to wake up and live another day wholeheartedly.  


When Waiting Is Easy

Daddy, you know my heart

You know the desires of my heart

My heart to learn and share
To heal, be free, and set free
To create and inspire others to act
To roam, soak, and hear from you
To obey and live out your perfect will
To remain in your favor, grace and provision
To experience the fullness of my destiny

Before all the excitement and accomplishments, you whisper words that ring loud through the deep inner crevices of my soul. Your still small voice silence all other commotions and voices. And when all else fades, only your voice remains.

"I delight in who you are, just as you are."

I still don't understand. How can God love me when I'm doing nothing just as much as when I'm obeying? How can he love me when I'm disappointed and hurt just as much as when I'm joyful?

I don't think I will ever be able to fully grasp this truth in my lifetime. Thankfully, he welcomes me into this process of discovering. This journey of increasing in the knowing is intimacy

In his presence, time flies. In his intimacy, waiting is easy. 

When I surrender the desires of my heart, step away from the voices that tell me "but you need to do this and go here," and simply be, priorities shift and perspectives change. 

When I remain in him, the secret place is no longer bound a place or a time. It takes me to the right tasks, places and people in diving timing. It guides my decisions and renews my mind. Its kingdom reality infiltrates into my life in the world. It prepares the way and covers my steps to provide an everlasting peace and security that no worry or obstacle can steal.    

His presence is enough.

Let's not look to the right or the left, but remain in the One who knows all. 

Nothing takes him my surprise.

His timing is perfect.  

He is in control.

He who calls us is faithful.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Psalm 37:3-7