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Keep the Channel Open

Written by Martha Graham

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 ever pleased.

There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.

There is a queer, divine dissatisfaction,

A blessed unrest that keeps us marching

And makes us more alive than the others.



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