No one knows what the body can do. -Spinoza

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Iconic Photo: Photo 21

Martha Graham
image by Barbara Morgan

The only sin is mediocrity. You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost. --Martha Graham

Martha Graham was a modern dancer and choreographer whose influence on the craft has been compared to that of Picasso on art, or Stravinsky on music, or Frank Lloyd Wright on architecture. When asked about her success she responded thus, "I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer. It's permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable."

Her dance company is the oldest in the United States and continues to perform. She was the first dancer ever to perform at the White House. She was also given the highest honor from the government available to a civilian, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was awarded Japan's Imperial Order of the Precious Crown, along with numerous other awards throughout her lifetime.

Graham's success is an inspiration to all. She stated that anyone could be successful. Her manner of success was unique, but not her level of success. The difference was merely that she actively pursued and committed to it. Following are several other inspirational thoughts from Martha Graham.

Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.

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 be lost.

We learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.

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