Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.
And on the heels of all that talk of anahata, Sherry blessed me yesterday morn with this necessary and heart-cracking piece of correspondence between modern dancers Martha Graham and Agnes DeMille (she of the Oklahoma! dream ballet choreography):
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 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 any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."Queer, divine dissatisfaction;" yes.
"A blessed unrest;" yes.
"No artist is pleased;" yes.
All of the above. I am feeling those things this morning, this blessed unrest, this sense of queer dissatisfaction. In spite of a most excellent week and more excellence to come for the weekend, there's too much I want to get done, there are boatloads to be written, there are revisions that need to be made, there are sequences that want to be developed, there are cakes that need to be baked, there are past-due emails that should've been sent, there's a queue of articles waiting to be read, and I can't seem to step beyond this block, this queer sense of dissatisfaction, unrest, in spite of an early morning walk through the glistening Tenderloin past City Hall, roaring prairie wind in my face, in spite of an always-fantastic class assisting R and then another solid class taught downtown, listening to that same wind whip around that 19th floor skyscraper mezzanine while we sat and breathed, eyes closed, in half-lotus/half-virasana. Unrest. In spite of the fab fingerless gloves and the earthy new Over the Rhine album and the little things that we fumbling-toward-enlightenment types are supposed to find and value and notice and let be enough. This morning, they don't feel like enough.
(Santosha? Wherefore art thou?)
Strange, this dissatisfaction. And yet, I am grateful for it, that unrest, that hunger that is Shiva, that perpetual cycle of creation and destruction, desire, dissolution. There is too much to do and not enough time to do it, and yet there's perfectly the right amount of time, always, in spite of our monkey minds' assumptions to the contrary. So we sit. And breathe. And try not to numb, or race, or plan.
The sun has come out, vibrantly, defiantly, committedly. The City's been abuzz for days now about the supposed snow that's due to hit today, and instead, the sun's out.
And my apricot tree has buds.
It begins. Keep the channel open. Undo. Therein, prana lies. Thanks, Martha, and thanks, Sherry, for the reminder.