When I was a kid, I liked to say I thought G-d was an animator,
And that we were all characters in the cartoon they were drawing.
And that the animator had a sick sense of humor and enjoyed messing with us.
At the time, I was being a snarky kid.
But as I delve deeper in my own process as an artist, I am starting to feel like my metaphor wasn’t too far off.
Except for the idea that as creators we have any control over the outcome of our work.
At least for me, the magic and joy of making art is throwing something out there, and not knowing for sure what--if anything--will come of it.
When I read Bereshit, I think of the--the excitement and terror of the blank page.
Endless possibilities. The joy of a first draft, when you can put anything out there and you don’t know where it will go.
The first week, the world is like G-d’s improv partner.
G-d says, “Let there be light,”
And the planet replies, “yes--and!”
There is light.
G-d next says “let there be an expanse in the midst of water, that it may separate from water--”
And planet repliaes, “yes--and!”
And now there is sea and sky.
“Let there be earth and sky!”
“Let there be plants!”
“Let there be living creatures!”
That early part of the creation is the fun part--when everything feels exciting, feels new, feels free, feels possible.
Everything is “Ki Tov”--it is all good.
And it is amazing to think that you had all of that in you.
I’m also thinking about the musical “Sunday in the Park with George,”
Where the artist George Seurat, marvels the fruits of his labor.
“Look, I made a hat!”
But, the rest of the process is trickier.
Sometimes our creations get away from us.
Like Adam and Eve, and then Cain and Abel, our characters we have conjured start to make choices that scare us.
Which seems odd--if we are the ones who created them, shouldn’t we be able to control everything they do? Should they be able to surprise us?
But the truth is, if we knew the answers, then the creative process would be pointless.
If we’re truly engaged, truly dropped in, truly present, we open ourselves up to discovery--even if sometimes what we discover can hurt.
Each time we create a new project, we are creating a whole world.