It doesn’t have to be blue iris, it can be weeds in a vacant lot. Just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate. This isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks. A silence in which another voice may speak.
Mary Oliver, Praying
Violinist, Fulton Street Subway Platform, Lower Manhattan, NY
A fish cannot drown in water,
A bird does not fall in air.
In the fire of its making,
Gold doesn’t vanish:
The fire brightens.
Each creature God made
Must live in its own true nature;
How could I resist my nature,
That lives for oneness with God?
MECHTILD OF MAGDEBURG
Hilma af Klint, The Ten Largest No. 2, Childhood, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
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 open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU.
Keep the channel open…
No artist is pleased…
There is no satisfaction whatever at anytime
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes “us” MORE alive than the others.
Martha Graham, in a letter to Agnes DeMille
Today I will recognize that art is a way to approach the Divine; and if the Divine doesn’t seem to be here, art will keep us going until the Divine arrives.
Yale Slavic Chorus, Sisters nightclub, Brooklyn, NY