A Creative Reminder…

Every once in awhile I need a good reminder of the creative person I am, and the encouragement to just show up and do “it” without overly judging myself.

Some days are extra challenging.

My father, who’s a painter, and I were talking yesterday about waiting to be in “the mood” to create, whether it be a painting, a piece of writing, or a play rehearsal. My Dad referred to some advice by a fellow painter about how we need to just go into action, and not wait for an inspirational mood. If we were to always wait for that slippery moment, we might never create at the rate we deeply desire. Simply, our actions can get the muse moving.

Again, I’m not expounding anything new. Again, it’s just me speaking to myself, and hopefully giving a nudge to both you & me.

The following letter is one I have hanging in my bathroom. I admit that I need constant reminding, and would like to honour my blog with Martha Graham’s words.

A letter written by Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille

“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.”

bjeeves-card0158 (a sampling of my Dad’s, Barry Jeeves, watercolour paintings)

2 thoughts on “A Creative Reminder…

  1. This quote by Graham is extraordinary. Thank you.

    Yesterday I had one of those “What the heck am I doing this for” days. I’m a documentary filmmaker and video writer/producer. I was tired and worried about making $$, always a sticking point for many artists, especially in these uncertain times. Then a funny thing happened, something that seems to happen every time I start to lose my confidence.

    I got an email from a client telling me I had done an outstanding job on a project for him. He went on&on&on and I was actually moved to tears. I immediately printed out his comments and posted them by my computer. There will be other days like today, and I want to have his comments handy to keep me going.

    But that’s not all. Later that afternoon I met with a client and was surprised and delighted to find out he was willing to pay me what I had quoted to him. This is the first time he’s paid me full scale, and it felt so good to be valued.

    It’s just a reminder that the universe is filled with countless reminders of our worth, if we just bother to watch for them and to listen.

    1. trilbyjeeves

      Thank you Cristina… I really appreciate your feedback. Your story is inspiring and needs to be heard by all as a good reminder to our potential.

      And, congratulations on being appropriately valued for your work. That is something we all struggle with as artists, too. I get that. We need to be braver about putting a monetary value on our skills that is satisfactory to our soul and our bills ;). More often than not, we actually have a great chance at that reward if we allow ourselves to seek it.

      The text by Martha Graham underlines our duty to show up to our ‘art’, and not question. I like that. There is a freedom, a permission somehow to go for it.

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