Keep the Channel Open

February 22, 2012

“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 our 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.”
—Martha Graham

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  1. But it seems it IS up to us to find what our expression IS and that is the hard part. At one time I felt my expression was to be "mother" and everything I did seemed to reflect that from the foods I cooked to teaching the kids how to take care of themselves to the crafts I did which gave my kids clothes to wear, things to make and play with, and things to make our house a home. But, now that the kids are gone and not even living near me, I sometimes wonder what my life expression should be. Now I find it harder to say I have a purpose. My grandkids love to have me around so that is part of my new expression in life and it's a good one.

    How do most people describe there expression I wonder. Is it through making money, filling the needs of others, satisfying their own desires or doing something no one else seems to be able to do? What do you think?

  2. Your comment was quite thought-provoking. I think it is more challenging to recognize your expression if you aren't heavily involved in a specifically "artistic" field in some way. But I also think that we all have our own place in the world, and just living our lives, being the best we can, following our passions and interests and connecting with others is true expression. I like this quote because it reminds me not to compare my work, whether writing or drawing, with others but to strive to do the best I can do at this moment.

    Your experience shows that a person's main expression can change as their lives change, sometimes leaving them feeling a little lost. I've heard my mother-in-law mention how challenging it is to feel she has a purpose when she's not working anymore, and doesn't have children to take care of. I expect to have my own issues with this when my son leaves home. I guess you just keep looking for what interests and excites you, and don't be afraid to dive in. What do you think?

  3. I definitely agree that it's a great reminder of our uniqueness so as to not compare our work with others. Sometimes that leaves people unwilling to try anything as it might not be good enough or they worry about being laughed at. I think there are many ways to understand this quote. I think I may have to copy it down for more pondering myself. Thanks for your take on it.

  4. I appreciate your take on the quote, too, as I had not thought of it that way. More to ponder.