Luzhai / A Letter to Agnes DeMille

Video: A Poem Reading with Meryl Streep and Cello with Yo-Yo Ma

There seems to be no one
on the empty mountain
and yet I
think I hear a voice
where sunlight entering a grove
shines back to me from the green moss

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

that expression is unique
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 it is
nor how it compares to 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, of the
urges that motivate you

Keep the channel open!
No artist is ever pleased
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time
there is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and keeps us more alive
than the others

( “Luzhai,” Wang Wei +
“A Letter to Agnes DeMille,” Martha Graham)

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