Citizen Action Monitor

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action”

The title of this little post is the first line of A Blessed Unrest, a poem by Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille

I trust no one will object if I appropriate Martha’s composition as a tribute to activists everywhere

No 1234 Posted by fw, January 18, 2015



Martha Graham’s poem, below,, A Blessed Unrest, is read by DuyenPTran, published May 1, 2013

Duyen writes, “After hearing Sara Bareilles share the inspiration behind her upcoming album title, The Blessed Unrest, I was moved to record & share this reading with other artists, souls out there!”

Note – On her You Tube page, Doyen refers to herself as “callmeduyen”. Strange name, I thought. It took me a couple of minutes to realize that callmeduyen means “call me Duyen” ;=)

Following Duyen’s video-recorded reading is a transcript of the poem.


A Blessed UnrestMartha Graham to Agnes De Mille

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.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost.
The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is;
nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business 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 only a queer divine dissatisfaction;
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than the others.

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2015 by in activism as a spiritual path, creative protest.
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