Friday, March 04, 2011


A brilliant review titled Keep the Channel Open by the poet Jared Carter of a biography of Martha Graham by Agnes de Mille is on his excellent new blog on books and literature: Rushing the Growler . His review covers so much ground, so profoundly, that it's enough for me even if I never read de Mille's book. I was never a fan of Martha Graham but the quote below (from advice Martha gave to her friend Agnes when the latter was plagued by self-doubt) is so inspirational that I'm going to put it up on the wall where I can see it daily: 

There is a vitality, a life force, an 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 it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable 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 yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. As for you, Agnes, you have a peculiar and unusual gift, and you have so far used about one third of your talent.

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