art, Bend Oregon, chaotic times, creating amidst chaos, creative inspiration, creativity, fightingfordemocracy, helping the poor, importance of creativity, painting, ruach, sheiladunn, visual artists, working for change
Back in 2012, I had the privilege of interviewing artist Sheila Dunn. I continue to follow Sheila because her paintings stir the spirit guiding me, the one called Ruach, the one that delivers divine inspiration. Here is the definition of this Hebrew word:
Ruach is a Hebrew word meaning “wind” or “spirit.” In its prophetic form as Ruach HaKodesh it is derived from the Talmud equating Divine Inspiration (Ruach haKodesh), and a Divine Voice as the word used to refer to the Spirit of God, or Holy Spirit, in the Tanakh.
Sheila recently wrote a blog post for Luminary on the imperative to keep creating even when the ground seems to disappear, when despair overcomes and threatens to break us—when all seems bleak. Sheila’s thoughts on today’s chaos helped me realize that creative inspiration doesn’t always promise or lead to pretty pictures. In fact, she writes, “creativity continually urges us to welcome the raw energy of the moment—the good, the bad, the ugly—into our psyches, our hearts, our spirits.”
Not everyone defines inspiration as Ruach—I happen to love this word and what it suggests—but we all must believe that we have the ability to affect change. We all must fight for what we believe this world can and should be for people of all religions, ethnicities, and genders. If we want to save the planet, if we want to help the marginalized on both sides of the political spectrum, if we continue to value our democratic values, we must become creative warriors.
For the times when we are feeling drained and hollow and empty of spirit (Ruach)—Sheila redirects us back to our innate creativity. Read her article “Creating Amidst Chaos” here.
Thank you, Sheila!