I just refreshed my bulletin board – removing what no longer hums and leaving lots of blank space for new quotes and images to inspire me. Keeping a bulletin board in my creative space has been a practice of mine for many, many years. There is one quote that has made the cut every time – this one here by Martha Graham (click on it to view it larger, or click here for a more legible version).
This very copy of this quote was gifted to me upon graduating from college by two good family friends. At the time, I did not understand it yet. It took a couple years in which I grew into myself as an artist before I really experienced that sense of “divine dissatisfaction.” But when I received it at the age of 22, I kept it because I could tell it was profound, and because the friends who had gifted it to me are extraordinary people. I am grateful to them for having known that this quote would serve me so well as I grew more deeply into my creative life. It’s like how a coach can see what you can become before you can even see it yourself.
Today, this quote speaks volumes to me about trusting my creative process. As Martha Graham articulates, my job as an artist is simply to stay receptive and clear — “to keep the channel open.” I often experience working in the studio as a process of lifting a lid on the top of my head and allowing ideas to pour through me into form. I also love that she spells out “it is not your business to determine how good it is…” This phrase sends sweet relief into my shoulders. Also, this quote and the many others I collect and hang on my bulletin board make me feel connected to a larger continuum of creative individuals. It reminds me that though I work in solitude, I am not alone.