Thursday, March 22, 2012
On Creativity and the Creator: Or Learning from the Lone Ranger, Film, Architecture, Poems, and Books
By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS) -- I recently had the honor of watching filmmaker Daniel Lusko direct a series of short films with Pastor Skip Heitzig. The venture is entitled The Ransom Project, and it is projected for release in late spring.
Film: an act of creativity, I thought.
It just so happened that the building the filming took place is a hotspot for Hollywood (or Tamalewood as we say here in New Mexico) film projects. Transformers, The Terminator, and a host of other films have been shot in the same building.
The building—A & P's old division offices and major repair shops—is just off of 2nd Street in the downtown area. The repair depot is huge and metallic, with broken windows, graffiti, multiple facilities, and character as grand as the building itself. Three trains still reside in the interior, not even taking up a fraction of the space. Though it is an old, dilapidated edifice, I still marveled at the thought that an architect’s mind helped create it; true, for a different purpose (trains), but now used for art.
Architecture: an act of creativity, I mused.
Craftsmanship: an act of creativity, I said to myself.
In between shots for The Ransom Project, I sat reflecting and reading. It just so happened that earlier in the day I attended an event highlighting the work of Nasario Garcia, a New Mexico folklorist and former professor at Highlands University. He told me about his poetry: “Simple topics written in simple ways. But I wanted to capture what life was like growing up in northern New Mexico. Things as common as a gopher.” I liked that. I mused, connecting Nasario’s thoughts to Daniel’s work.
Poetry: another sign of creativity.
Prose: another creative act: writing, storytelling, and history.
I was beginning to wonder why I was having so much fun on this day—reveling in acts of creative expression.
Salmon’s book provided part of the answer.
In chapter seven, Salmon describes the thrill of seeing two birds on a fishing trip: the Vermillion flycatcher and a Bullock’s oriole. After they flew off, Salmon states, “There is of course no good reason—or none that man can define—for that flycatcher or that oriole to carry such colors around. Unless we count beauty as a good, and reason enough for belief in a higher power with an aesthetic sense.”
There it was—in a wonderful sentence—the reason I was having so much fun on this day: “I count beauty as good,” a reflection of God’s creative self and character. Though the descript of “higher power” is a little too elusive for me, I respect the conclusion Salmon comes to: God has an “aesthetic sense.”
Every portion of this day—in some form or fashion—was a reflection of the Creator. In theological terms this is called teleology: design and purpose in nature. The teleological argument states, from one popular online site, that purpose and design exist in the universe, “Beyond the scope of any human activities. The teleological argument suggests that, given this premise, the existence of a designer can be assumed, typically presented as God.”
Film. Architecture. Craftsmanship. Poetry. Prose. The splendor of nature: all examples of design and thought-fullness; all indicators of something greater—more profoundly magnificent then ourselves.
For truly, “There is of course no good reason—or none that man can define—for that flycatcher or that oriole to carry such colors around.”
What man can’t define, God paints—as perfect colors—on the universe.
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This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.