Creativity, artistry, imagination, experiment have been powerful metaphors in my life lately. While I’ve always been one of those people who have been encouraged to pursue my passions by my family or others around me, I’ve also gone through phases in my life where my environment squelched all practical expression of creativity. I think of the 6 years I worked at UPS, crunching numbers, sifting through the mindless mundane, hearing corporate mantras. It’s not so surprising that those were the least experimental and most fundamentalist years of my life. In my present primary work at a local college, I’m surrounded by people who encourage expanding horizons and exploring new opportunities. I’m hardly surprised that a more generative season of life has set in.
Still, as one reader recently commented on my Church as Art, Community, and Transformation article, there are always those rare folks who can weather incredibly repressive external situations that should squelch creativity, but end up simply unleashing it. Those are the people who I admire at the end of the day.
Mike Morrell and I had the opportunity to interview just such a hero recently for TheOOZE community — her name is Teel Montagque. Teel is an image creator (painter/drawer), musician, designer and inventor. She extends her craft to children that have emotional and behavioral disorders, and she’s a single mother of teenagers.
As she describes on the podcast, she’s gone through a divorce, ending a long-term marriage. She’s a business owner, trying to ride out a plummeting economy. Needless to say, she’s facing some incredibly stifling life circumstances. But somehow…somehow…it’s producing a deep sense of creativity and renewal. She’d never recorded an album before, but felt it was time. She took a collection of songs that had been rumbling around for decades, added some new ones that had emerged in the recent turmoil, and opened up her heart. She also invented a sleek protective skin for iPods called the Eye Ghost…she designed it, created some crazy space age material for it, and put it on the market. It’s doing very well in Atlanta, and now other markets. This is incredible to me!
So please – join Mike and I in conversation with this remarkable woman, and let your own creativity be stirred. It’s never too late to allow Spirit to channel something new in you. The only time we have is now.