The writer Elizabeth Gilbert was describing her namesake, the poet Jack Gilbert, and his approach to his students. I found these words on Brain Pickings, where I have lingered for hours already this morning, drinking in philosophies of creativity from people who make me think so hard on their ideas that my brain hurts. There were so many different quotes I wanted to share with you as I went deeper and deeper into the well, including this one, because of the times, and because of the idea of "stubborn gladness." So often, we ask what can we do in the face of what is unfolding in our politics, on our social landscape. This is one answer, and it's not easy, and it's not small.
Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert on Creative Courage and the Art of Living in a State of Uninterrupted Marvel:
Martha Graham on the Life-Force of Creativity and the Divine Dissatisfaction of Being an Artist:
As I return to my own not-small effort to resist the ruthless furnace, here is some more of the treasure I found:
"The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels—that’s creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place—that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one.'
And this one, which my dear friend Brittany posted, and which sent me on the Brain Pickings hunt to begin with:
“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 your 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. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware 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.”