Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Creative Blues

My Wednesday morning ladies' Bible study has started working through a book on Isaiah. The fifth chapter of Isaiah begins with a song about a vineyard and this was one of our questions.
"Many modern songs are about perceived injustices. Why are these protests often cast in the forms of songs?" As a bit of a joke, I wrote, "Because the artistic/creative people who'd bother writing songs more often seem to be melancholic and prone to the blues." I didn't think that was really what the question was getting at, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought I'd hit on something true.

So many people with a creative bent seem to have fallen prey to the "big black dog" for centuries. Writers, artists, musicians, none are exempt. Vincent van Gogh, Percy & Mary Shelley, Thomas Hardy, Beethoven, Mozart, several 20th century jazz artists my husband admires, even our own Anthony Field, the blue Wiggle. And that's just to name a few. I found myself wondering whether genetic dispositions can account for all creative depressions. It seems that Satan might launch a specific attack against the minds of creative people, and especially Christians, because he knows that these people are capable of doing a lot of damage to his evil cause.

The Bible tells us, "The Joy of the Lord is my Strength." Well, by stripping away our joy and replacing it with his depression, Satan renders us useless.

Imagine how interesting it was to come across something very similar in a book I was browsing through; "The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind" by Bill Johnson. He wrote, "Why do you think there has been such an assault on artists in the Church? Because the enemy wants to separate us from the creative force that thinks outside the box. Those ideas can change the world."

So I guess in a way, even though depression is nasty, we can consider it a compliment in a way and laugh at Satan. Let's never, ever give up on our creative dreams, even when we're attacked by gloomy thoughts, but keep them always burning before us.


  1. Oh, You hit on something huge!
    "..."The Joy of the Lord is my Strength." Well, by stripping away our joy and replacing it with his depression, Satan renders us useless"..."

    You are so right! When our strength is gone we can't fight! That's so why we need our joy! Joy isn't happiness - it's that boundless joy that comes from within and can only come from the Lord.

    You hit on something huge!

  2. True that.
    I fought depression for half of my life. I still feel it seep in on occasion, but now I know how to deal with it: through thankfulness and laughter. I appreciate all the blessings in my life and I celebrate creation. It's my joyful noise. :o)

    Peace and Laughter!

  3. Hello again! I'm up late. :o)

    About your question: I didn't really know what a condo was either, until we moved to this area. Think of it like this--there are apartments that you rent and there are apartments that you own. If you own shares of the building, you live in a co-op and everything is done by the micro-government of a co-op board. That includes approval of anyone you want to sell or rent your apartment to. If you own the walls, you live in a condo and you can sell or rent it as you would a house. Is that clear? :o)

    Peace and Laughter!

  4. Interesting post. I agree. I think that's why I "get" poetry, song lyrics and deep, emotionally expressive writing - depression is an issue that I am familiar so I consider myself a kindred spirit to those who express their emotions so well in words. Todd, on the other hand, doesn't let depression into his life and can't be bothered with that kind of writing. I admire him for this trait that keeps him optimistic (or pessimistic if that's the reality!)


  5. I meant to say "familiar with" but one can't correct one's comment - bummer!

    Kate (again)