Why bother? Because there is only one you

 

I had met a friend for lunch at Marmalade cafe in Santa Monica and as I was leaving, I saw an amiable-looking guy in his 60s getting into a big, white Mercedes convertible. He had a personalized license plate that said, “YESUCAN.” This is going to make me sound stupid, but I called out to him, “Does your license plate mean… you know… that I can?” He smiled and said, “Yep.”

If you are wrestling with whether or not you can do or make something that scares but excites you, let me and the guy with the white convertible tell you what you already know: Yes, you can.

What about all the fears and expectations and desire for ‘results’? We have to let all that go. I have to let all that go.

A letter from the famous choreographer Martha Graham to her friend, Agnes DeMille, who was a dancer (I quoted the start of this in one of my last posts):

“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 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 rest.”

 

Comments

  1. Perfect timing as usual. Thanks for this, gonna keep plugging away at my essay. Because – yes I can! xxoo

  2. Love it! Need to read this each and every day!

  3. That is one of my favorite quotes. I used to look at it a lot in graduate school, but I haven’t looked at it in a while. I think I was due.

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