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Rose Queen
08-10-2003, 11:49 PM
There is a vitality, a life-force, a energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of 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 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 anytime. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others. If I add something to
my time, then that is my prize.
~Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille



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Carlanna
08-11-2003, 05:25 AM
Thank you, that really hit the spot!:)

Keith Russell
08-11-2003, 09:43 AM
"There is a vitality, a life-force, a energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action--"

Disagree.

"...and because there is only one of you in all of 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."

Agree.

"It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions."

Disagree.

"It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."

Agree.

"You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work."

Disagree.

"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 anytime."

Agree.

"There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others."

Disagree.

"If I add something to my time, then that is my prize."

Not sure I like the wording in the above sentence...

K

DanaT
08-13-2003, 08:05 AM
I had to laugh Rose when I read this. Here's Martha saying that belief isn't necessary and we're debating about whether we believe her.

Actually the more I live, the more I think that belief and understanding are way overrated in this culture.

Keith Russell
08-13-2003, 07:30 PM
Dana said:
"Actually the more I live, the more I think that belief and understanding are way overrated in this culture."

Dana, do you really believe that?

K

Cathy Morgan
08-13-2003, 09:22 PM
I agree with Dana. Too much thinking can interfere with real awareness and presence - and with creative action. Also too much emphasis on thinking and believing can interfere with the kind of knowing that's bodily, gut level knowing.

"The unlived life is not worth reflecting on."

Keith Russell
08-13-2003, 09:49 PM
Cathy said:
I agree with Dana. Too much thinking can interfere with real awareness and presence - and with creative action. Also too much emphasis on thinking and believing can interfere with the kind of knowing that's bodily, gut level knowing.

Respectfully, I disagree.

A great deal of thinking doesn't 'use up' one's emotions, nor does it in any way stifle one's perceptions. (There isn't a set amount of thought, and if you exceed your portion, you 'use up' part of your 'portion' of something else.)

As for the 'kind of knowing that's bodily', I think that ought to be defined. I have no idea to what the term 'bodily kinds of knowing' refers...

K

AshleyShea
08-23-2003, 02:45 PM
I happen to agree with this quote whole-heartedly. I have seen it in my life. Since Keith has broken this down into disagreements, I thought I would respond with why I agree. I did not post this to try and debate this quote. I just thought Kevin, and others, might like to see the other side of the coin. It's completely ok to disagree with me and the quote. I just know that I like to see what other people think, even if they disagree with me.

Originally posted by Keith Russell
"There is a vitality, a life-force, a energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action--"

Disagree.

For me, this is just a flowery discription of our spirits, our energy, our breath. As an artist, when we create, we put a little piece of ourselves in everything we create.

"It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions."

Disagree.

This is where I think most artists get hung up. We compare our art to art made by others and think our art doesn't stack up....isn't nearly as good...is missing something...or some other negative comparison. This is what blocks a lot of artists. Your art is your art. If you wait until you create something that YOU think is "good," you will likely never create anything. What you create is good, no matter if you can't see it at first.

"You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work."

Disagree.

This follows from the statement above. So many people have poor self-esteem and a poor image of themselves and their talents. Even some of the greatest classic artists have suffered from poor self esteem. Just create! The belief in yourself and your art will come later. Honestly, it will. I have NEVER believed myself to be an artist. I just dabble. But I created a piece of art one day that I really loved! I've received a lot of compliments on it and people suggest that I submit it to a gallery. The belief in myself and in my art is beginning to grow. Some days I call myself an artist. Sometimes I still say I dabble. One of these days the belief will be solid enough for me to say I'm an artist all of the time.

"There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others."

Disagree.

I'm not sure what there is to disagree with here. It is unrest or dissatisfaction that inspires us to do most of the things we do. We aren't satisfied with what is on television, we change the channel, or turn it off, or get rid of our TV completely. Everything we do has a cause, a purpose, and following our urges to create makes us more alive than those who bury them or tune them out because they don't feel they can create. We are all creators of one medium or another. Some create awesome dinners. Some create loving homes in which to raise their families. Some create a joyful presence just when they walk in the door. It is following the natural urge to create that makes us who we are.

Happy creating!
Shari

Julianne
09-09-2003, 02:37 AM
I love that quote! I'm going to print it out.

Keith Russell
09-10-2003, 12:50 PM
"There is a vitality, a life-force, a energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action--"

Disagree. To me, the above sentence says nothing. Dead artists don't act, and thus no longer create. Of course we artists translate our perceptions, ideas, and thoughts, via living action. It's obvious...

"...and because there is only one of you in all of 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."

Agree. See, it can happen...lol.

"It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions."

Disagree. I believe that its just as wrong to compare your work too much with what has already been done by others, as it is to compare your work with others' work, too little.

"It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."

Agree. Wow, it happened again!

"You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work."

Disagree. I think that, to whatever extent one is creating, on believes in one's work. Now, some artists may believe in their own work more than other artists, but I think that everyone who creates, believes at least to that extent, and for that moment...

"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 anytime."

Agree.

"There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others."

Disagree. This one was tricky. I honestly only disagree with the inclusion of the words 'divine', and 'blessed'. Of course we are never satisifed, and we should constantly strive for improvement, increased understanding, etc. But, even if I believed in 'God', I could not believe that my dissatisfaction arose from an 'omniscient', 'benevolent', 'Creator'.

"If I add something to my time, then that is my prize."

Not sure I like the wording in the above sentence.

I'm sure, now. I definitely don't care for the wording.

K

AshleyShea
09-10-2003, 06:24 PM
"There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others."

Disagree. This one was tricky. I honestly only disagree with the inclusion of the words 'divine', and 'blessed'. Of course we are never satisifed, and we should constantly strive for improvement, increased understanding, etc. But, even if I believed in 'God', I could not believe that my dissatisfaction arose from an 'omniscient', 'benevolent', 'Creator'.


It's interesting how differently people interpret words. I didn't read this as having anything to do with any god. After reading what you wrote, I actually looked up "divine" in the dictionary to see if it HAD to refer to a god. It doesn't. One definition of the word i, "altogether excellent or admirable." This is how I interpretted "divine dissatisfaction." It's that dissatisfaction that keeps us moving, creating, inventing. It's a delicious dissatisfaction. ;) And "blessed" can simply mean "characterized by causing great happiness." Again, no belief in any such god is required for something to be blessed.

So revel in your "divine dissatisfaction" and "blessed unrest." :D

DanaT
09-10-2003, 08:42 PM
Good point Ashley. Its easy to get caught up in the semantics and lose the thrust of what was meant.

Keith Russell
09-11-2003, 10:31 PM
Ashley, the fact that you had to look up the word, proves my point. Most people would take the meaning of 'divine' and 'blessed' to be religious in nature, and they would not bother to look up the words in a dictiontary.

Given that, by using those words, most people would draw an entirely incorrect conclusion as to their meaning.

If the meaning of such words is that vauge (and the fact that you weren't sure of their meaning without looking them up) then I strongly suggest avoiding such words...

K

AshleyShea
09-11-2003, 10:56 PM
I didn't have to look up the words, Keith. I did so just because of the interpretation you had made. I looked out of curiosity.

I won't stop using those words because one person can't take off blinders and see that the words have many meanings.

Shari

Keith Russell
09-13-2003, 06:49 PM
Shari, I know very well that an individual word can have many meanings, that--too--was part of the point I was trying to make.

Unless we know which meaning was intended, the actual meaning remains, at best, elusive.

Of course, if clarity is not the goal...

K

DanaT
09-13-2003, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell

Of course, if clarity is not the goal...


Uh, I think motivation is the goal. Or at least it was when Martha Graham said it. She wanted Agnes deMille to get moving a certain way.

This particular expression doesn't motivate you Keith. It's no big deal. There are others.

Keith Russell
09-14-2003, 06:28 AM
Dana said:
"This particular expression doesn't motivate you Keith. It's no big deal. There are others."

Of course...

K