Every culture is unique, and all people are different. Each one of us has our own voice, our own thoughts. Some things, however, are common across all cultures, all eras, all countries. One of these is our endless, unrelenting creativity. Princess Arete is not famous for being a thrilling or well-paced movie, but the story sets out to reveal the true capacity of humanity, and this is what it accomplishes.
Princess Arete has been locked in a tower since she was a child, and the narrator informs us that she is destined to stay there until she is married. The adults around her underestimate her quiet, crafty resourcefulness, and she has found ways of briefly escaping the castle. Every day she observes the ordinary people, even if mostly from afar. She is acutely aware of how sheltered she is, and wishes to be free and learn things, especially the human “magic.”
A magic of sorts exists within the story, including various devices the declining population of once-numerous wizards left behind them, but this is not the magic in which she is interested. When she sees humans talking with each other, learning from each other, and creating beautiful things together, she realizes that this is a sort of magic too.
When I see the splendor of the mountains, the sun, and the sky, I am filled with the desire to create. It is the fingerprint of God on our hearts that anything we do could become an outlet for creativity, and so our houses become works of art and presentation in food becomes important. We cannot contain it, because he made us to be like him. I can’t escape the artistry of God anywhere on earth, least of all inside of me.
Some of the most beautiful works of art were created by the church. Whether through music or painting, we can express our love of God and the love that he shows us in ways that are incomprehensible through normal means. It is because God made us in his image that we are special, that we can create. We each have our own personalities and hopes, which shows that God made us to be individuals, yet through our common experience, we can all relate to each other.
Unfortunately, some Christians see neither art nor individuality in this light, and have responded with fear or a desire to make others conform, but this is at odds with how God made humans. Rather than suppressing our individuality, God created us to all be different, and he desires for us to discover who he made us to be. Our uniqueness is God’s artistic expression, not something that needs to be stamped out. Because of this, I have been trying to focus on understand others, especially when experiencing new art forms, as people are using them to try and bring to light something that is a part of them.
Since times long past, art has drawn us nearer to the heart of God. By acknowledging the beauty of his creation in ourselves we acknowledge the unfathomable awesomeness of the one who made us. In Princess Arete, they call this truth magic, and in a way, it is. God, who has already blessed us far beyond anything we could ever bear to understand, has given us this way of expressing ourselves and using our minds. It’s unbelievably wonderful.