One of my favorite poets Naomi Shihab Nye who was a student of William Stafford, says this: “In our time there has been no poet who revived human hearts and spirits more convincingly than William Stafford. There has been no one who gave more courage to a journey with words, and silence, and an awakened life.”
Many artists would say that their process is really about manifesting life’s journey by working things out, asking questions, seeking, challenging and growing through making art. Metaphorically weaving what’s inside our head and hearts with memory and gesture into a work that in our deepest desire resonates with another. It’s why I find these words from William Stafford and Rainer Rilke so profound. They inspire me to, through all the doubt, believe in myself and my uniqueness and give courage to my art life. I feel them an anthem of sorts to propel me to continue evolving my work in the search of that great piece which is so authentically me and yet universally everyone. To hang onto and weave the threads.
From William Stafford
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.
From Rainer Rilke
She who reconciles the ill-matched threads of her life, and weaves them gratefully into a single cloth – it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall and clears it for a different celebration”