Many authors -- and composers who see their music as stories -- feel anxiety about how creative ideas taunt them, then disappear, as described by George MacDonald: "I know that there are a great many stories in the holes and corners of my brain; indeed, here is one, there is one, peeping out at me like a rabbit; but alas, like a rabbit, showing me almost at the same instant the tail-end of it, and vanishing with a contemptuous thud of its hind feet on the ground."
The poet John Keats had fears that he would die before his extracted all of the ideas "teeming" in his brain.
The dilemma hurts us when we believe that this earth is our only shot at making an artistic statement.
We have "bucket lists" -- a truly ugly sounding phrase in the English language that I wish had never caught on.
If earth is our only shot to do anything worthwhile then no wonder I make my earthly plans into all-important objectives that shove the thought of eternity -- and its implications -- onto a back shelf. How sad to pin all of our hopes on a mortal life that, even at its longest, feels like a blink of an eye.
Maybe our true "career" and our best "artistic works" await us in the service of the Author after this little play-acting prequel to forever gives way to the main show. Do we really believe that the One who invented the act of creating will not fill all of eternity with it?
Compared to immortality in the presence of Him whose creativity never ends, our best works here are shadows that move across a road on a lovely evening's twilight. They still have value and beauty, yes, but if we expect them to bring eternal fulfillment to our hearts then we might as well believe that a few moments of shadows at dusk are more desirable than an eternity of perfect afternoon sunlight.