Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gratitude Sunday: Wise Elders

In hopes of having Sunday's gratitude post actually show up on Sunday, I am going to express my gratitude to the wise elders who have left a trace of their wisdom behind for us to learn from.  I love this quote from Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille:  (breaks have been added for emphasis)

"There is a vitality, a life force...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 yourself open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open."

Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991) was an American dancer choreographer regarded as one of the foremost pioneers of modern dance, whose influence on dance can be compared to the influence Stravinsky had on music, Picasso had on the visual arts, or Frank Lloyd Wright had on architecture. (Wikipedia)

Agnes George de Mille (18 September 1905 – 7 October 1993) was an American dancer and choreographer.  (Wikipedia)


  1. I opened my blog list this morning and saw a post from you and thought, "Oh yeah! There she is!"

    So lovely to see you. and what a great quote. "Keep the channels open."

    So true.


  2. You quote from two of my favorite dancers. They both had such fascinating lives of creativity. I was privileged to see Graham's company when she was still head of it.

    Have you read de Mille's book on Graham?

  3. Thanks Louise and Maureen ... and Maureen I haven't read the book on Graham but if this quote is any indication of their correspondence, I'm sure it's a great one.