When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
From Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats
We are on earth to take part in the Truth and Beauty Cycle.
We are writers, artists, and creators.
Truth and Beauty flow through us and are changed.
Truth is what we believe.
Beauty is what we value.
The two are one and the same.
Truth and Beauty cannot be destroyed, but they take on different forms as they move through our bodies, our hands and voices.
Truth and Beauty enter through the senses.
- I see trees swaying next to the ocean. I see a colourful library skinning my laptop.
- I read Keats. I hear my husband talk about the joys of lifting weights.
- I smell incense burning at the shrine behind the parking garage.
- I feel the marble tabletop under my forearms and the jersey skirt on my legs.
- I taste lemon in my hot water.
- I intuit that now is the time to write about the Truth and Beauty Cycle.
If Truth and Beauty were H2O, we would be the expanse of dry air, drawing vapour out of the seas, trees, soil and snow.
The Truth and Beauty we take in stirs up our feelings and ideas.
Words and images cross-connect and bounce off each other.
Stratus, cirrus, and cumulonimbus clouds form, great sparks of lightning as Truth and Beauty evolve and collide.
The elements coalesce into something new ~ a creation with our unique stamp. A replication of our DNA.
The vision grows too large to contain and we must express ourselves.
Truth and Beauty pour out in a myriad of ways.
The monsoon rain of an epic novel
The drizzle of a short story
The placid lake of a series of drawings
A fathoms-deep ocean of paint on canvas
The narrow canal of a single photograph
A waterfall of graffiti
The insidious frost of a haiku cracking open a sidewalk
Our creations are added to the cycle and the round continues.
The world feeds on what we make and returns it to the source.
Everyone living takes part in the Truth and Beauty Cycle, but we creators do it with purpose.
We work with deliberate design and committed hearts.
The flow of Truth and Beauty gives our lives meaning.
We say, with Joyce Carol Oates, that “The world may be interpreted as a gift, earned only if one has created something over and above the world.”
What we create remains when old age has wasted our generation.
The beautiful things we make speak our truth long after our mouths have been stopped up.
The flow of Truth and Beauty through us brings value to the world.
We are rewarded for what we make.
We take pleasure in the process of creation and in the finished product.
Our audience tells us how much they love our art and what it means to them.
We are paid for our work.
We are recognized for our excellence.
The world is enriched by what we make.
Truth and Beauty, our beliefs and values, spread to those who need them. Inspired new creators are born.
People are comforted . . . challenged . . . delighted . . . changed.
In the name of all that is true and beautiful, I am telling you.
Design your art-committed life and
let Truth and Beauty flow
The Truth and Beauty Cycle is Part 1 of my creativity manifesto. Read on to Part 2: Broken Truth and Toxic Beauty.
If you find this manifesto galvanizing, I would love to send you a preview of my memoir, Pilgrimage of Desire, when you subscribe to my mailing list. You’ll see how I live out this manifesto and help others do the same.
Photo by Frederik Mancosu