I recently wrote an article about what happens to creativity when the artist goes through a time of darkness, whether depression, spiritual desolation, or religious doubt. This was perhaps the most difficult piece I have ever written. You can read the whole article here. I would love your comments.
I also want to thank several people who helped with this piece.
First, Rebecca Tirrell Talbot worked patiently and kindly with me for a year and half (I think; was it that long, Becky?) on a paper about Gerard Manley Hopkins, Charles Williams, and desolation. It was Becky who first taught me about Ignatian spirituality.
Next, two of the great artists of our time, Bruce Herman and Makoto Fujimura, for their willingness to talk about desolation and to point me to paintings of theirs that fit the theme. Thank you, Bruce, for sharing the image of The Crowning
with me; it is very powerful. (I have already written, in my 2012 retrospective, about how Bruce has helped me in the past with a sense of vocation and inspiration.)
The members of Ekphrasis: Fellowship of Christians in the Arts workshopped this piece very helpfully for me at one of our meetings. Thank you especially to Sharon Barshinger Gerdes (Director of Players of the Stage), Abigail McBride, and Jim Femister. That was an extremely useful session, and as you'll see, I rearranged the content of the piece a lot after we talked about it.
Brenton Dickieson, intrepid Pilgrim in Narnia, gave generously of his time and talent to comment on the piece more than once when it was in progress. Brenton, thanks for your editorial eye!
Mezzo-soprano extraordinaire Nadine Kulberg gave valuable musical advice and listened to me babble incessantly about writing this article. My mother also listened for hours and recommended books on the subject. Rosie Perera shared some reading ideas, too.
Finally, my kind editors at Cardus, Brian and Dan, were patient and long-suffering with me while I wrote this. Thanks, gentlemen, and I hope I can write for you again in the near future.
Anybody have any ideas what I should write about next?