Monday, November 15, 2010
Burning in the Bones
But if I say "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.
"The only experience the writing of every song has in common is what I would call a sense of being burdened. Often there is a specific message with which I am burdened. More often, however, there is little or no specificity. What I am to say is not in the least clear to me. There is just a burden to say something. And God help me is I do not attempt to say it."
Michael Card from 'Scribbling in the Sand'
I want a "burning in the bones." I want a message to deliver. That has been the cry of my heart/art lately. I am spinning my wheels. I cannot find inspiration. I am playing, but not feeling fulfilled in it.
I have been watching the PBS series "Art 21" on Netflix. It is a series of profiles of 21st century artists. My reason for wanting to watch initially was just that I like to look at art. As I have been watching though, I am desiring to know more about the artists and what drives their work. I have to admit that a great deal of what the artists say about their work sounds like incoherent and contradictory babbling to me. But almost all of them have a common thread. There is some message to deliver in what they are creating. There is some force driving it.
I think I am stuck in that no mans land between creating something that delivers a message and creating what people will pay me money for. The latter can work for an artist, for me, for only so long. Dryness, staleness, confusion and frustration are my companions in the studio right now. I can make pretty things that people will buy, but my soul is not singing.
So, what is my message? What must I say? The Word. That verse from Jeremiah resonates with me. Indeed, it is burning in my bones. I have been quenching it, ignoring it.
I want to run with it. I want to deliver the message. God help me if I don't attempt it.