Staying the Creative Course: What is Your Lighthouse?


I am enamored with the book “On Lighthouses” by Jazmina Barrera. It’s a perfect little book with a rigid cover, and based on all of its lighthouse imagery, I wonder if its solid structure is by design.



A lighthouse is a beacon. A lighthouse is a watchtower. A lighthouse is an eye in the wind, in the waves.

"The Eiffel Tower is still the only lighthouse in Paris. No one would dare to move a stone of that city without first seeking authorization (authorization they should not be given). By contrast, buildings in Mexico City are demolished and others spring up by the minute, each taller than the last. They compete among themselves as trees in the rainforest compete for sunlight." - Jazmina Barrera

I’ve always been drawn to the lighthouse, both literally and figuratively... so much so that I've tattooed one on my arm. This tattoo says stay the course. Be resilient. Weather the storm.



The tattoo, being so visible, has started conversations over the years. I've met many lighthouse lovers, and it's led me to another conclusion. Is it we that are drawn to lighthouses, or do lighthouses, by their very nature, draw us in?

Here's a metaphor for your consideration: a lighthouse is whatever guides you; anything that provides light in your darkness; a concept that keeps you on course; a protective agent. The concept moves beyond the physical structure and begs a simple question.

Consider the guiding forces in your life; the things that keep you from crashing against life's rocky coastline. These might be creative outlets, such as writing, painting, drawing, music, photography. Hobbies. Maybe they are special people. Extraordinary humans.


The more intimate you are with you your course, the easier it is to follow. Like a captain that knows the ship, there will be times you are able to navigate a fog that's too thick for others. But, consider: is a lighthouse any less in the seconds between beams?


No one should be given authority to move the stones of the Eiffel Tower. Creative dreams that are constantly built and demolished won't amount to anything more than a ship that's crashed on the shore.

So, I'll ask, what, why, or who is your lighthouse?

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