Artwork by Emily Howard

There is an energetic stamp or vibratory signature behind every act of creation. Though difficult to perceive, it is like the wind blowing through a valley, touching everything we do. Although we create in a multitude of ways, it is what’s felt first by others.


My partner Craig is a master flute maker, and though his creations are incredibly beautiful to listen to and behold, people often receive one of his flutes and are struck by the instrument’s kindness. Because of the man he is, committed to a life of heart, every simple thing he creates and attends to carries this signature of warmth. Inasmuch as we are searching for our purpose and occupation in the world, the more salient pursuit is in the who we are becoming. It is the vibratory signature behind our enterprise that has the most impact. So the real art form is a kind of open question to the needs of the larger Self: How can I serve you? Do you feel understood? Where is your rapture? What are the conditions necessary for your expression and well-being?


Though we may think of questions like this as self-absorbed, they are actually what lead us to our greater nature that is in service to the broader inclination of the whole. Artful questions such as these penetrate our daily, surface concerns to take us into the deeper quest of the world, carried within our soul’s code.


As long as we are attending to the well-being of the Self, purpose then becomes a thing as simple as flowering in all its stages: from dormancy to emergence; the slow, almost imperceptible unfurling; and eventually the trumpeting colour of your truth.


Make no mistake—this temple of originality is not yours alone, but something we’re building together. After all, we share the same origins and one day we will, like all our ancestors, return to them. In the meantime, creativity is essential to belonging because it serves as a way for us to recognize each other. We listen for that pulse of originality coming through us, giving it the unique form that comes from our particular encounter with it. And as we make beauty from our origins, we find networks of people just like us, adding their voice to a thing we’re all trying to make real.


As extensions of nature, we need our differences to thrive. Some people will be the fire of inspiration you need to inch you closer to your edges, and others will look to you for that push. Originality needs many emissaries with different voices to get its message across. Like a choir, every voice is necessary to make a grand swell. With this in mind, we can remember that creativity is really an act of devotion to that which is creating us.

Excerpt from “Belonging” by Toko-pa Turner