Monday, March 28, 2011

Choreographing Ease and Flow

The chortlings of migrating starlings descending on the feeders outside my windows this morning seemed to herald the approach of warmer days. Watching the small flocks’ aerial dances led me to search the internet and find this clip of huge flocks in Scotland . It  seems to fit well with my morning musings on  “ease” and “flow”, the words I’ve chosen for as my themes for this year.

How amazing to watch these synchronized movements and discover that the filmmaker who recorded their aerial feats again and again never once saw a collision among them.  Could there be a more compelling visual demonstration of ease and flow?

As artists, we don’t ever attain a blissful, creative state minus any self-doubt or anxiety, but rather learn to trust in our own inner navigator to get us back on course when we flounder, and realign us with our own inner compass.

We just keep at it.

I’m reading Martha Graham’s autobiography, a treatise in focus, dedication, passion. On the first page of the book she writes, “To practice means to perform, in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

First comes the study and practice of the craft which is the school where you are working in order to strengthen the muscular structure of the body…The body is shaped, disciplined, honored

and in time, trusted…

Then comes the cultivation of the being from which whatever you have to say comes. It doesn’t just come from out of nowhere, it comes out of a great curiosity. The main thing, of course, always is the fact

that there is only one of you in the world, just one, and if that is not fulfilled then something has been lost.”

1 comment:

  1. I love, too, that the collective noun for these huge flocks is a "Murmuration".

    For me at least, the most important part of what I need to do to be able to stay in that place of ease and flow, is to be quiet and focused enough to hear the murmuring of what the work wants so that I can respond with the same precision and grace as those starlings. There are no collisions in those flights because every bird is doing its very best to fly as close as it can to its neighbors, and mirror every movement they make.

    Simple, but not easy. Like so much else.