Out of the Nowhere, Into the Here

As my family and friends will tell you, my mind stores an astonishing number of seemingly trivial bits of information that often manage to jump to the front of my brain and out of my mouth for no apparent reason. It’s an enjoyable, but odd, phenomenon.

This morning I remembered a phrase my mother quoted when she was visiting after the birth of our first child, Andy.  It was “out of the nowhere, into the here.”  As I remember it, she was referring to the miracle of birth ― a human being who was not previously present on the earth suddenly showing up and joining the human race.

I wondered about that phrase and tried to find its origin. Mom studied the Bible regularly, so I searched an online Biblical concordance and found nothing. Googling it produced very few instances of those seven words being used together in that order, and none of them seemed to have been significant enough for her to have found and held onto. So who knows?

I also thought about a comment I heard Wayne Dyer make once that the word “nowhere” could be divided into “now here,” and that offered an interesting perspective.

I’m fascinated by the whole concept of creativity and think about it a lot. I see creativity as a mysterious process through which a person serves as a conduit to allow something that never before existed in physical form to become physical reality. And the examples are limitless: it could be a work of art, a symphony, an architectural design, a board game, a tool, a recipe, a bird feeder ― or the writings that somehow came through me and ended up in Lessons from the Source.

As I was thinking about things showing up from “out of the nowhere,” I began to compare creativity with the way in which people and other living things appear in physical form.

There seem to me to be a couple of interesting differences. Human participation is essential to creativity ― or at least to my definition of it. We need to be open to the inspiration and willing to allow it to flow through us, and then we have to use the gifts we’ve been given in this lifetime, along with our minds and hands, to bring that inspiration into physical form. The Universe uses us to help make the manifestation happen.

But if we go beyond that definition of creativity, our involvement isn’t always necessary. Human participation is, of course, required to bring other human beings into the world (and that activity can be quite delightful!). And we also can plant seeds and nurture the growth of trees and plants and vegetables. But apart from those examples, most of the other living things we see around us came effortlessly out of the nowhere and into the here without requiring any effort at all on our part.

The other big difference I can think of concerns longevity. The living things (including us!) that appear from out of the nowhere all eventually end their stay in the physical world. Some of the non-living products of creativity, however, can last for millennia ― if not forever. Perhaps one of our gifts during our limited time here is the opportunity to create new bits of physical reality that can, in turn, be gifts we pass along to those who follow us. Interesting stuff to think about.

© Jack Armstrong 2010

10 Responses to “Out of the Nowhere, Into the Here”

  1. Mary W says:

    Your mom probably was thinking about a Victorian era poem by George McDonald called “Baby” that begins, “Where did you come from baby dear? Out of the everywhere into the here.” I remembered it when I read the introduction to this piece–and am happy to think about the difference between everywhere and nowhere. Perhaps pretty much the same thing; the infinite “now here” and the equally infinite everywhere?

    At any rate, we agree that everything is transient (including works of art) and that peace may come from letting go of the need for anything to be permanent?

    Here’s the poem: sentimental, sweet, perfect for its era–I think I remember my grandmother reciting it to me, at any rate I thought of her as soon as I read your post.

    http://www.bartleby.com/246/315.html

  2. Stacy says:

    I truly enjoyed this. It was right on time.

  3. Jack Armstrong says:

    Thanks for that, Mary. She certainly might have said “everywhere” (which I find more appealing than “nowhere”)and I might have remembered it wrong, or maybe she had remembered it wrong, or it might have had nothing to do with that poem at all. Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to find out? But I don’t believe my thoughts about it would change, whatever the source turned out to be. Great to hear from you, MW.
    Jack

  4. Jessica Smith says:

    Absolutely exquisite, Jack. You have such an artful way of doing justice to expressing the nature of the divine energy whose only desire, and creative expression of that desire, is simply “to BE”.

    “But if we go beyond that definition of creativity, our involvement isn’t always necessary.”

    Or to put it a different way, we cannot help but to participate; by our very existence, as energetic, vibrational beings, we are forever creating another version of ourselves and our planet. Talk about being talented!

    Thank you for such a delicious focus and perspective. Your words help me to remember more of who I am, and I’ve no doubt whatsoever they do the same for others. Much love and bountiful blessings to you and to yours.

    -Jessie

  5. Jack Armstrong says:

    Bless you, Jessie. Thanks so much for your kind comments. Love and blessings.

  6. Aunt Louie says:

    Hi dear, I am amazed that I could get this. I have to take it in small samples because my upstair computer room is cold in the winter and hot in the summer and the this old back will let me sit at the computer for short times only.

  7. Joann Turner says:

    I was taken with your fascination of Creativity. For me, it is a friend who found an interesting way to repair a chair, my granddaughter, who made a desk out of materials at hand. I stand in awe of how we come up with an idea that didn’t appear to be there before. I think it is when we touch that spark of genius we each carry within us–that connection to something so large that it carries all answers.

  8. Jack Armstrong says:

    I agree, Joann. When we start focusing on it, we’re never at a loss for examples of how creativity expresses through all of us. Many blessings.

  9. Mike Maynard says:

    I’m reading a diary my grandmother Mary Dalton Shafer wrote in 1941 and on the last page she includes this poem…

    To the New Baby

    Out of the Nowhere into the Here
    God’s love has brought you, Baby Dear!
    You will find joy and tender care girding your footsteps everywhere;
    You will find pathways glad and bright
    Leading thru years of true delight!
    Such is the fate life holds for you
    If, day by day, this wish comes true.

  10. Robin says:

    My mother used to say this too…

    http://www.storyit.com/Classics/JustPoems/babydear.htm

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  • Welcome

    About Jack Armstrong

    Welcome to my blog. I’m glad you’re here, and I’m excited about being able to visit with you in this way.

    The musings about life and spirituality that I’ll be sharing with you will be from the perspective of a 71-year-old guy who spent most of his life trying to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up ― and finally got it.

    You can find out about my books, including Lessons from the Source, on the Store page here on this website, but this blog is a place for sharing thoughts and ideas.

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    Jack Armstrong

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