Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Showing up

I have several friends who are doing National Novel Writing Month for November, and a few people have suggested it to me. I'm dragging my feet. I feel like I have a lot of other ideas and things that I'd like to be doing, so adding another just makes me feel guilty for all the things I'm not doing. But then again, most of the job is to sit down and just do it, right?

I got up this morning to meditate at 6:10. I've been wanting to do it for a while, and then I re-read a quote about meditation that I had cut out a while ago and posted on my bulletin board. It said something like you have to give up immediate comfort sometimes for something that will give greater comfort in the long run; you must get up 5 or 10 minutes earlier, foregoing your warm bed, to meditate. Those 5 minutes in bed are comfort for the moment, but the 5 minutes of meditation will have ripples in every aspect of your life. So just show up and do it.

I haven't decided, but I also reread this Martha Graham quote to Agnes DeMille about just doing it that spurred me on as well. She was one tough lady, sounds like.

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. ... 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.

So, I guess you just show up. And the below, also from Graham, sounds like a book in itself - what a harrowing moment and way to put it...

It wasn't until years after I had relinquished a ballet that I could bear to watch someone else dance it. I believe in never looking back, never indulging in nostalgia, or reminiscing. Yet how can you avoid it when you look on stage and see a dancer made up to look as you did thirty years ago, dancing a ballet you created with someone you were then deeply in love with, your husband? I think that is a circle of hell Dante omitted.

[When I stopped dancing] I had lost my will to live. I stayed home alone, ate very little, and drank too much and brooded. My face was ruined, and people say I looked odd, which I agreed with. Finally my system just gave in. I was in the hospital for a long time, much of it in a coma.

Well, I've gotten off the train again. Always happens. Ah well. Art - endlessly interesting.....

No comments: