This Martha Graham quote has followed me for the past 10 years. I end up tacking it to whatever walls I inhabit as my temporary home.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU. Keep the channel open… No artist is pleased… There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
I relate to this divine dissatisfaction. But there are parts I don’t entirely agree with; that there is no satisfaction whatever at any time. I think there is satisfaction everywhere, around us all the time. But I do love reading this and I do agree that we cannot stay still in the satisfaction; there is a duty as artists to keep us marching. That part I dig.
I love being an artist but I have judged saying that I am one especially during the times I am not doing it for a living. I am doing everything else; off exploring, stretching, baking, searching, writing, healing, climbing, struggling & healing. But making art is what I want to be doing & what I want to be close to. These other things I do are my life lessons and they help me to be better in understanding myself and then I think I can understand all of us more.
I am turning in to surrender. This city is the sort of place I have dreamed of living- but I am not happy here. There have been some tears and a lot of rain and some serious life lessons through batter. I would not give back this past year for anything. I have had relationships with people I will never forget people who have been the catalyst for some much needed growing up. I’m making the choice to come back to the soil that is not so wet. Back to the bitter and the not- so friendly eastern drivers. Back to the place of beginning to begin yet again. Back to the lake I can swim across and the woods I know like the back of my hand. Back to drinking crappy coffee. Back to those people who I’ve come to learn are irreplaceable. Back to the known having seen the unknown. What a journey all this is, and the learning has just begun.