Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Remembering Isadora Duncan

I was a voracious reader as a child and teen. Today, I have less time for "pleasure reading," but, in fact, I'm reading nearly all day, every day. It's how I gather information, make judgments, develop confidence, find solace, and stumble upon new ideas and inspiration. 

One night this week, I awoke around 2 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. I decided to get up; I had something on my mind, and I thought it would be better to get up and try to distract myself than stay in bed and let it churn inside me. I stumbled in the dark to my office and looked up at my bookshelves. My eyes landed on a book I had read many, many times when I was young, My Life, by Isadora Duncan. This book affected me deeply. It gave me insights into Art and Love and Freedom and Joy and Sadness. I wanted to live the life of Isadora. 

I hadn't looked at the book in many, many years, but I took it off the shelf and sat down to browse through it. Over the years, I had written little notes in the margins, and a few of them brought back some good and not-so-good memories. Then, I found a paragraph next to which I had written, "hmmm."

I believe that in each life there is a spiritual line, an upward curve, and all that adheres to and strengthens this line is our real life—the rest is but as chaff falling from us as our souls progress. Such a spiritual line is my Art. 

Isadora believed that Art was her mission and purpose in life. It was her calling, her vocation. Art was her way to discover the inner truths of her life, the meaning of her life, and the connections between all parts of her life. Art was her air, her source of life, her spiritual path.

I felt inspired. This was indeed a good distraction. Whatever had been on my mind now seemed trivial. I remember now why reading about Isadora when I was young was so life-changing. Like Isadora, I wanted to breathe in Art and exhale Love and Joy. I still do.

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