Art of the Song

The Creative Mirror

A Metaphor for Creative Expression

By Don Richmond | Posted 3/15/07 | Updated 5/8/23

One of the ways I like to look at creativity is that it's a reflection of the universe reflected back into the universe through us, like through a mirror.

And I think a mirror is a very useful metaphor in several ways. A mirror does not have to try to reflect, that's what it does. In that sense, I don't believe that we have to try to create. I think we are creators. We can't help it, we have the ability to get in our own way to stop the creation and I think that that's what most of us do a lot of the time.

So what does a mirror have to do to fulfill its function? Well, it has to let things in and it has to let things back out. Now there's ways that we can either enhance or get in the way of that process at both ends.

We can enhance the letting things in by being open and letting life affect us, letting it reach us. We can also polish the mirror by enhancing our awareness. Seeing more, hearing more, smelling more is polishing your sensitivity and your awareness.

Being open to what's coming in as a means of letting life reach you and affect you and move you; letting it stir your heart strings, let them vibrate along with it. And that's hard sometimes because it vibrates in joy and it vibrates in sorrow and lots of other ways but that's sort of the price you pay for being alive.

Now on the other end of the spectrum of letting things back out — one of the ways we get in our way is that each one of our mirrors is a unique shape and therefore that which is reflected back into the world is also unique and we have trouble with that.

We see somebody that's doing something extremely well and we think boy, I wish my mirror was shaped the same as theirs but it's not and never will be… that doesn't mean that you can't work at your particular chosen avenue of reflection to get better at it, to become a more skilled songwriter or whatever.

But I think the way that we block the most is we are just not okay with the shape of own mirror or we fear that the particular direction that we have the mirror pointed is foolish or stupid or unworthy.

You know my mirror might be pointed toward music, yours might be pointed in a different direction: gardening or interior design or painting or writing or creating a wonderful environment for your family or anything. It's all creative; its all creativity. It's all what we are here to do. So let the light in. Let it back out. Let it shine.

©2007 Don Richmond. All rights reserved.

Don RichmondDon Richmond is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumental performer, having played professionally for over thirty years. More