Friday, May 11, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, May 11, 2012

You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled,
then something has been lost.

Martha Graham, artist, dancer, teacher, choreographer;
she was born on this date, 1894.
[ She died at age 96 in 1991 in Manhattan ]

An amazing woman! One of those rare people (unique, indeed!) who changed the World in terms of dance. On her death, the New York Times said she was  “ranked with Picasso, Stravinsky and James Joyce for developing a form of expression that broke the traditional mold”. I saw her dance only once; I was 22, and she was 52. I went to a rehearsal, and she demonstrated some steps. What I remember is … Elegant.

Unique. Yep, we each are, like snowflakes (so I’m told about snowflakes), even if we are a twin. And some is lost to the whole human race if we are not permitted to contribute who we are, what we think, fully. Oh, I know; the World is the way it is … but great teachers call us to see and make the contribution in our unique way. Dennis and I were serving dinner last night at WNMU for two professors who were retiring. Students and colleagues stood to say how their lives were changed by these two women … and it was very moving.

People often think that we have to choose between our uniqueness (in American, our “individuality”) and our intrinsic unity with each other and all Being. I don’t see it that way. They are the polar realities of the truth that when we are unique and united, we are more completely whole … individually and as the human community.

I think the reality is:  the more we are our unique selves, the more the human race achieves it’s wholeness.


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