Monday, May 13, 2019

The Tension of Time

“To be a human being is to be in a state of tension between your appetites and your dreams, and the social realities around you and your obligations to your fellow man.” - John Updike
In listening to a recent podcast I heard someone mentioned “the tension of time”. We know we only have so much time (in our life, in our week, in our day) to accomplish all that we want to. With all the things we MUST do for work, for family, for church, for health, we often don’t take the all important time for ourselves. And for creatives that means taking time to create.

Do you feel that tension? That anxiety that you aren’t getting everything done with your music, or your art that you looked to get accomplished in this life? Does it worry you that you may not be on the right road to leaving your creative imprint on this world that you always felt you would?

Well it does me. But I see each new day as a chance to rectify that. Each coming day, week, or year is a new chance to get to all the songs, ideas, and other creative things I want to get out into the world. To realize all my dreams though, I’m going to have to bust it. This tension of time is good as it motivates me to get things in gear, make plans, and let that pressure be the engine that pushes me forward.

As I wrote in an earlier blog called “Such Little Time” one part of the tension can be that we know we only have so much time on the earth to create. Even our bodies and minds can betray us and take away the desire and the means to create.

Tension Moves Us
“Tension is the cornerstone of any good story.” - Eric Nylund
In movies or books, the tension the director or author creates keeps us bound to the story. It motivates us to keep watching or reading. We want to see how the story turns out, how the protagonist wins.

With the tension of time, the creative is the protagonist, and we win by creating, and distributing our creations.

How many stories in cinema or literature have you read where the artist comes to the end of his life regretting not creating their masterpiece, or not sharing their art to the world?

The Tension of the Misstep
“There is always tension between the possibilities we aspire to and our wounded memories and past mistakes.” - Sean Brady
We all feel if we had only made the right step at some point, we could have been a better version of ourselves. If we had done more in high school, or majored in something creative in college, or toured with that band in our twenties, or not made the decision to leave our art behind for the day job, or because we had kids.

That seemingly wrong decision or misstep in life is also a tension of time. We feel our chance to be an artist was wasted, and the stress of all that time misused can keep us from pursuing our greatest dreams.

This is similar to how it feels about saving money or investing. Why start now if you haven’t done anything up until this point? But that is the tension talking.

Using the Tension

Instead of worrying about how little time you have, use the tension to MAKE time. Instead of lamenting about how things aren’t happening quickly enough, we have to MAKE things happen, or find someone to help us make things happen.

I find I am using that tension and the uncertainty that it creates to push me towards more creative projects, creative time, and proliferation of art out to peoples ears and eyes. I think we can use that worry, that uncertainty, that restlessness to get us off our butts and get to work!
“There's a constant tension in climbing, and really all exploration, between pushing yourself into the unknown but trying not to push too far. The best any of us can do is to tread that line carefully.” - Alex Honnold
Have a great week!


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. For helping give voice to the murky dread that ambushes me. I'm glad I'm not alone in this fight!


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About the Author

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at