A poem that has been around the block many times, and warrants being sent around once again. Why the occasion? Because my brother, a pure businessman, saw something of me, a writer, in these words. So from Ms. Graham’s thoughts to Ms. Demille’s, from my brother’s heart to mine, and from my creative spirit to yours – a tribute to the artist.
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. If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost.
The world will not hear 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 for 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.
– From Martha Graham to Agnes Demille