Category Archives: Creative Process

Messages in a Bottle

On Wednesday, August 31st, I listened to Xena and Juneau’s radio show with guest Thea Washington (blog post here: Adam Lambert – “The Man Behind the Music” Radio Series ) and was inspired to ask a rather esoteric question, which I posted as a comment on their Salon. Rephrasing it here for further pondering….


I’m captivated by the idea of creativity being like a force of nature in all of us, connecting us in a way. Our individual talents manifest it in different ways of course, but they are connected by it all the same. Adam sings. I write poetry and essays. Someone else cooks, another person paints, draws, or takes beautiful photos. It’s all a creative drive we share to express ourselves.

Sometimes when I write a poem or essay, someone I’ve never met tells me how it touched them, how it was like I read their heart, mind, or soul to write their thoughts, their pain, and feelings. It’s both humbling and very healing to me to hear that, too. Music, songs, of people like Adam Lambert, Cassidy Haley, Immogen Heap, and so many others touch me the same way. Cassidy’s songs “Burn” and “Fly” are like he reached in, pulled my heart out, read it, shoved it back, and wrote those lyrics. Yet they aren’t my story, my pain – they are his. Weird, right?

Juneau, Xena and I talked when I was on their show before about how Adam’s song “Broken Open” affected me; it literally saved my life. I’m bipolar as some of you know, and sometimes I get audio hallucinations (hearing voices). When I heard that song in that moment, it didn’t register as “Oh, I’m hearing a song.” He was just suddenly speaking to me, telling me the message of the lyrics in the form of a song. Some folks are going to think I’m crazy, and yeah, I probably am, what with a legitimate mental illness and all; but that was my experience at the time. Adam’s words, his voice, his message – made me decide to keep fighting and not give up. He said it was safe to be so broken and it didn’t mean I had to die because I was broken; I was safe to “break into him”.

Now obviously, I know I’m not cosmically plugged into another person’s brain, aura, whatever you call it. I know Adam wasn’t talking literally to me; it was a song played on my boyfriend’s computer. Adam doesn’t know I exist, most likely, and had no clue I needed that message in that moment; but the message itself was still delivered.

I think maybe these songs, poems, photos, paintings, etc. are like “messages in a bottle”. They are created at another time, “stored” in whatever way (on a blog, a CD, in a portfolio) and then discovered or stumbled across later in an odd moment of need. This happens at miles of distance, between people who don’t know the receiver of the message even exists, but their message still reaches that person, it still helps them.

So my question, which may be partially rhetorical, but still open for discussion, is this: What is this phenomenon that creates this “spiritual creative connection”? I find it a fascinating concept, but I admit I’m kind of stumped.

Opinions? Observations? Theories?

Thanks for listening to my Tolstoy explanation of a question, too. Maybe I should of warned you to pack a lunch before you started reading this?


© W.R.R. 9/3/2011

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