Excerpt from Integrity by Adrianne Rich by Jessica Hunter

A wild patience has taken me this far ...

The length of daylight
this far north...
is critical.

The light is critical: of me, of this
long-dreamed, involuntary landing
on the arm of an inland sea.
The glitter of the shoal
depleting into shadow
I recognize: the stand of pines
violet-black really, green in the old postcard
but really I have nothing but myself
to go by; nothing
stands in the realm of pure necessity
except what my hands can hold.

Nothing but myself?....My selves.
After so long, this answer.
As if I had always known
I steer the boat in, simply.
The motor dying on the pebbles
cicadas taking up the hum
dropped in the silence.

Anger and tenderness: my selves.
And now I can believe they breathe in me
as angels, not polarities.
Anger and tenderness: the spider's genius
to spin and weave in the same action
from her own body, anywhere --
even from a broken web.

Raw Beauty by Jessica Hunter

"Raw Beauty. That was my first impression of Jessica’s work. I was never a big fan of floral but her work gets me. I guess there is this feeling of comfort in imperfections that makes you relate, and it’s beautiful." - Norr Studio

Beautiful words and images of my work up on the NORR journal

Detroit, you dreamland by Jessica Hunter

Tis curious that we only believe as deep as we live.
— Emerson, Beauty

I’ve been stuck trying to find words for the past couple months and sifting through the infinite images of summer’s end, late august, September and then into Autumn’s October, has paralyzed me to begin. Nature waits for no one. It just keeps giving and changing. The deciduous forest mutations from yellow, to orange to blood red continue. The leaves fall no matter how much we’re hanging on and I hear Wordsworth chanting from the grave: to begin, begin.


Calgary, Nurture Retreat, Detroit, endless weddings, beach visits, nature walks, garden harvest (too many tomatoes) and cleanup (so many weeds), long-distance lovers (Sim took a UK job where he’s been traveling for almost 2 months – we see each other in 48 hour stints), cats with fleas (this meant cleaning for days on end while Sim was away – holistic concoctions of lemon, tea tree, citronella, geranium and witch hazel blends only to resort to vet visits, high chemical premise sprays and advantage serum for the little fury beasts – at one point I was in the dark lighting tea lights in soapy water on plates and placing them in each room of our house as a natural flea trap; it was my moment of September madness), book clubs (currently ready Patti Smith’s M Train), new found coffee shops ….

Photographer Alyssa Wodabek, captured Nurture Retreats in such an authentic way on her blog in a three part series. This weekend of teaching and self-care was one of the most serene moments of summer. I am so grateful to Sonja, our founder, for bringing me on board.

I won’t cover it all here. I will leave it for another day because there’s too much to say. I’ve been living so much lately, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for writing. Working on Emerson’s living deeply so that I can believe. So yes, I’m leaving more words for winter when subtler hues of grey, brown and white settle me into slowness and my time outdoors ceases to be daily.

Our room for the first night in Detroit. Mom's side profile before heading off to design. 

Our room for the first night in Detroit. Mom's side profile before heading off to design. 

I laid awake in a single cast iron bed, covered by a red quilt with the sound of cars buzzing by on the main strip of Michigan Avenue. I was sleeping in the living room of one of the coziest airbnbs I’d ever stayed in. I was tired but couldn’t sleep from all the buzz, not to mention we ate late at Slows BBQ and I was still digesting the brisket enchilada. Staring at the ceiling I imagined that the traffic was the sound of ocean waves, trying to sooth my nervous, excited mind. Then I’d hear a group of tipsy locals chattering on as they passed by, bringing me back to reality.

“I’m in Detroit, tomorrow I begin designing for Flower House.”

My alarm doesn’t go off, instead I wake-up to the shuffling of designers taking their turn in the bathroom. I go to check my phone and it’s completely dead despite the fact that I had it plugged in. No charge. No way to contact people. No addresses. Hmm. I plug it into a different outlet. No luck. Then into my computer. No luck. Frustrated, I get ready and head downstairs for a coffee. As I go to pay for my coffee and mom’s tea I notice that my engagement ring is missing. “I never take it off,” I murmur to myself. “Unless I’m baking and I always put it in my apron pocket,” but I haven’t been baking. Immediately, I rush upstairs to search, mom behind me and as we begin sifting through the freshly folded bed sheets and red quilt, mom looks down at the carpet and there it is, just sitting there, waiting for me. I pick it up slip it on, try to take it off, “see when it’s on it doesn’t come off easily” I repeat as I pull it towards my knuckle. I’m now about an hour late, still no coffee and suddenly realize I feel like I’m still sleeping, having one of those terrible dreams where you can’t get to where you need to be. My phone beeps, it’s up and running and there it is again, reality, I am awake. I take a deep breath and we head back down to Atro Coffee where flowers and native herbs are sketched on chalkboards, succulents and cacti grace the windows, people are friendly and a black coffee awaits.

I think I’m still pinching myself. Flower House Detroit was truly like a dream that I’m still waking up from. And despite this frantic recollection of the start, I loved everything about my time there. It reminded me that the dream is now. It’s not later nor has it passed. It’s each moment. The peak of a mountain, the depth of a canyon, tea in the snow, coffee in the sun, losing my engagement ring, finding it, an old abandoned distressed home of plaster, lathe, vintage wallpaper and broken fixtures filled from floor to ceiling with flowers, communities making beauty out of loss. Sorrow. Celebration. Death. Life. Death. Rebirth. Destruction. Art. Chaos. Order. Lost. Found.

Detroit taught me that it's not what you have but how you live that matters.

Tired and full, beaming with happiness, wine and food we gathered together on our last design day. Lisa stood to read SWAN by Mary Oliver… “And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything? And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for? And have you changed your life?” - I gasped, it acutely resonated with my belief in humanity’s need for beauty, for art, and so the words wound around my mind, interlacing, over and under like a braid, taking me into another piece by Oliver in A Thousand Mornings, one that’s lingered below the surface of my subconscious and without knowing, influenced my decision to attend Flower House and how I would design the upstairs bathroom:

It didn't behave

like anything you had

ever imagined. The wind

tore at the trees, the rain

fell for days slant and hard.

The back of the hand

to everything. I watched

the trees bow and their leaves fall

and crawl back into the earth.

As though, that was that.

This was one hurricane

I lived through, the other one

was of a different sort, and

lasted longer. Then

I felt my own leaves giving up and

falling. The back of the hand to

everything. But listen now to what happened

to the actual trees;

toward the end of that summer they

pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.

It was the wrong season, yes,

but they couldn't stop. They

looked like telephone poles and didn't

care. And after the leaves came

blossoms. For some things

there are no wrong seasons.

which is what I dream of for me.

Thanks to  Jordana Masi  for the camera skills in snapping this shot. My camera was an utter failure in this light and Jordana saved the day!

Thanks to Jordana Masi for the camera skills in snapping this shot. My camera was an utter failure in this light and Jordana saved the day!

I knew the feeling all too well of my own leaves giving up and falling. I twirled the multicoloured autumn leaves of Virginia creeper into a shower, spiraling down like a hurricane into a pool of white mums. Lilies, Zinnias, Dahlias, Ferns and Amaranthus spilled out of the broken toilet while snapdragons lined the ceiling with snowberry and an ombre waterfall of garden roses greeted you at the door. Spring in Fall; "and after the leaves came blossoms. For some things there are no wrong seasons.  

This is what I dream of for me." It plays over and over like the supertramp record that's on in the background

As you can see the bathroom was dark and small. The moodiness of it of course spoke to me and the smallness made for a more intimate experience for guests. It was more difficult to design in it than I'd anticipated. I couldn't really step away from my work to see the full piece, I just had to keep placing flowers where I felt they should go, it was a meditation, hoping they would all come together, like the pieces in a mandala. My favourite time to work was late at night with a headlamp when the house was quiet and cold, almost eerie, with nothing but flowers for company. 

As you can see the bathroom was dark and small. The moodiness of it of course spoke to me and the smallness made for a more intimate experience for guests. It was more difficult to design in it than I'd anticipated. I couldn't really step away from my work to see the full piece, I just had to keep placing flowers where I felt they should go, it was a meditation, hoping they would all come together, like the pieces in a mandala. My favourite time to work was late at night with a headlamp when the house was quiet and cold, almost eerie, with nothing but flowers for company. 

Thanks to my Marmy and Jessica from  Sweet Gale Gardens  for diligently placing hundreds of mums in the tub. 

Thanks to my Marmy and Jessica from Sweet Gale Gardens for diligently placing hundreds of mums in the tub. 

Marms made friends with glue while working away on the toilet seat...it ended in a sticky manicure. 

Marms made friends with glue while working away on the toilet seat...it ended in a sticky manicure. 

There are times when you feel a pull towards something, a magnet drawing you closer, an ache in your gut so strong that if you were to deny it, you’d be sick. Flower House was that for me. When Lisa Waud asked me to be a part of the team I was in Calgary. Without hesitating I said yes and a month later I was on a road trip to Detroit. 

We were in Calgary to sniff out a potential job for Sim but while we were there he was offered a position at a UK based company expanding to North American. He took it and has been travelling ever since. We've basically seen each other for 48 hours or less during the past couple months.  At times arguing over the division of labour -- who works harder -- crying (mainly me) over the distance, always kissing to make-up before he catches another plane. This time apart is teaching us to be more intentional with each other, to really hug one another, to listen more attentively, to be present because presence might not be there next week and to be more honest because, frankly, we don’t have time to beat around the bush for days on end. In a strange way the distance has brought us closer and I’m not so afraid of it anymore.

When Sim flew into Detroit on a layover from Washington to see the exhibit, we went for lunch at this wild child, hippie café called Rose’s Fine Food where they pay their workers a fair wage so tips can go to a local charity. There are some really good people in the world; especially in Detroit. We ordered coffee and chicken sandwiches and all I could do was stare longingly at him while he talked. Almost forgetting we were married but knowing so intensely why we are.

At Flower House I made friends from Detroit, Ohio, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Petosky, and my neighbours in Toronto – we had our very own Canadian corner and the gals I met were the most encouraging, talented bunch of flower enthusiasts. I was a small fish in a big pond of the flower world. When I began A Fine Medley I only knew the names of a handful of flowers (I pronounced anemone wrong when requesting them from a local florist), I’m not formally trained in design and I haven’t studied horticulture. I was out of my league but no one made me feel that way.

Flower House was the best kind of avant guard. 

The buildings and people of Detroit showed wear and trial, overgrown blighted plots, but kindness, hospitality and artful expression are my lasting images. Colour persisted in bleakness, and it was this juxtaposition that stood out to me during my visit. Before summer's end I was struggling with where to take A Fine Medley but after being around such free loving, inspirational high spirits, all working collectively for the sake of art, my faith in why I started AFM was renewed. I went to see the Heidelberg Project on my last day and met artist Tyree Guyton (what a legend). He was doing yard work when I ran into him, not too proud or established to still do the hard and heavy work of land maintenance, even if it is a 29 yr old artist installation. “It’s my purpose, if I died tomorrow I’d be okay because I am living the life I was meant to live,” is what he said to me on why he began Heidelberg. He went on to say, “you’re an artist, I can tell. You’re going to be afraid, that’s normal. But when fear approaches take notice because it usually means you need to push through it.” I’m holding onto these words from this modern day prophet. 

The Heidelberg Project 

The Heidelberg Project 

I want to grow unusual, lush varieties of flowers, trees, shrubs, decorative herbs, veggies and fruit all over this industrious, ambitious city of Hamilton. I know that if I want caramel bearded iris, passionflower vine, chinese dogwood, blue poppies or black hellebores I’m going to have to grow them. I want people to be awestruck by beauty, and not just those who can afford it, but everyone who walks by the urban farms -  to learn the restorative nature of the garden, patience and care; to compost our waste; to create alternative economic development opportunities through urban flower growing; to use those blooms to service AFM and other local florists - but above all, to live a little more dangerously and to know the best parts of being human.

Sometimes I feel like my dreams are too large and other times that they are too small. If I had a dollar for every time I put limits on my ideas then I’d have enough money to fund them. I know what I want to do but I can’t do it alone. I need a community and that’s been a big hurdle for me in all of this. Even writing it down here seems nuts to me. Makes it more real or something. But watching Lisa pull together a band of people to help make Flower House was an electrifying jolt that rekindled the fire in my belly to get started. Detroit, you dreamland, thank you. 

To read more about the Flower House and what we did visit:

New York Times

Huffington Post Article


Debra Prinzing Slow Flowers Podcast

Martha Stewart

Adam + Lena

I'm   as happy as a lark on our last day of design.  I wore this pinafore linen smock by  Portland Apron Company  while designing all week. Its thread still smells of the magic that happened in Detroit. Thanks for making  such beautiful workwear Erika. 

I'm as happy as a lark on our last day of design. I wore this pinafore linen smock by Portland Apron Company while designing all week. Its thread still smells of the magic that happened in Detroit. Thanks for making  such beautiful workwear Erika. 

Creativity. Experience. Connection. by Jessica Hunter

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” – Steve Jobs, Wired, February, 1995

Monday Inspiration: Jack Gilbert and why I make art by Jessica Hunter

Portrait; Jack Gilbert

Portrait; Jack Gilbert

He's handsome. Courageous. Private. And has a middle ground between a realist and optimist. He's Whitmaneque in his poetry, which makes me love him even more, full of passion and romance and grandiose thoughts. As The Atlantic quotes "he's only interested in the big mysteries: God, sex, love, suffering, redemption." 

Last night's blood supermoon lunar eclipse. We drove to a graveyard in a cornfield to watch it through binoculars. I will never forget that night. 

Last night's blood supermoon lunar eclipse. We drove to a graveyard in a cornfield to watch it through binoculars. I will never forget that night. 

I ask myself often, what are we supposed to do with all the suffering in this world? Near and far. Close and untouchable. How are we supposed to live? Help? It's easy to get caught up in the analysis, asking why? But it's only ever been an act of beauty that breaks through to me when I can't seem to muster my way out of those dark, dingy, dusty confused corners of my mind. When I get into an overwhelming funk, Art is this glorious world full of hidden answers to the mysteries of my heart's questionings. Sometimes it's in the form of a rare lunar eclipse, or a bouquet of flowers for a friend, or the sound of your sister singing an old hymn from the bathroom, or a painting of Oktoberfest Munich by Dorian Fitzgerald, or the meditative prose of Marilynne Robinson's Gilead or collectively transforming an old decrepit, abandoned house into a Art Exhibit turned Flower Farm (Flower House - a project I'm designing for on Oct. 16-18 in Detroit). The truth is, the world is terrible and wonderful, but as Gilbert cries out, our obligation is to joy - to wonder! It often doesn't solve everything but it's a balm for the soul and Jack Gilbert's "A Brief for the Defense" was a little bit of that for me this week.

A picture of me taken by my sister from our visit to the  AGH  yesterday. 

A picture of me taken by my sister from our visit to the AGH yesterday. 

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies

are not starving someplace, they are starving

somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.

But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.

Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not

be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not

be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women

at the fountain are laughing together between

the suffering they have known and the awfulness

in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody

in the village is very sick. There is laughter

every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,

and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.

If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,

we lessen the importance of their deprivation.

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,

but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have

the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless

furnace of this world. To make injustice the only

measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.

If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,

we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.

We must admit there will be music despite everything.

We stand at the prow again of a small ship

anchored late at night in the tiny port

looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront

is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.

To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat

comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth

all the years of sorrow that are to come.

Sanding rough edges by Jessica Hunter

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been. - Rilke

It’s August, my favourite month of the year, although, I am biased because it’s my birthday month. 10 days ago I turned 29, clouds passed through the sun with a light breeze. I wore a grey striped cotton A-line dress and felt a little bit older. It’s the age of the edge, with all the youth of my twenties and the hope of the anchoring thirties. I’ve heard in your thirties you care less about what others think and settle into your own skin a bit more. I must say I’m looking forward to that if it’s true. This edge feels tipsy and scary, thrilling and intoxicating from this high up. I’m dizzy over it all.


August is both celebration and mourning. We’re enjoying the last really warm relaxing days of the season while also saying our goodbyes to lighter days, preparing for the beginnings of September. The air is cooler at dawn and dusk. My sandals are replaced with loafers and a light wool sweater is always on hand for those unexpected changes in temperature. I don’t mind it though. I can feel the cooler air beckoning me into something new but I struggle to put words or shape to what it is.

We’re currently in limbo. Waiting. 

“Are you a lake peeer?” asks my friend as we swim out to deep water. “Oh totally, it’s the best,” I reply with a laugh. This is the conversation of true friendship. Treading water I keep my body moving and afloat until I can bring myself to begin swimming towards the earth again. Tiring myself out as my limbs move languidly, pushing through the heavy liquid - out of breath and refreshed - I sleep so soundly after a day in the water.


Maybe it’s all the years of school that has my internal clock set to September as the new-year, or maybe it’s just that I get really reflective after another trip around the sun - probably the latter. I usually feel a sense of anticipation mixed with anxiety about all that hasn’t been accomplished. It’s renewal and remorse jumbled together.

As I write this, Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony, chimes in the background… “lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover, lover come back to me”

Wedding season's been full of elegance and romance, each bouquet bursting with the bride's personality.  I've enjoyed designing these natural details for each one and, surprisingly, it hasn't been as frazzled as I thought. I think it’s because they’ve been spaced out nicely with time in between for summer leisure and home projects, although, I’ve neglected my back garden this year. I didn’t plant vegetables, unless you count the basil and tomatoes that managed to fight through last winter and return. The morning glory has taken over regardless of how many hours I spend plucking out its seedlings and the moths have started eating away at the roses. It frustrates me that I didn’t take a butterfly net to these decay driven creatures before I started noticing their damage. Everything seems overgrown and un-kept.

I remind myself, all is not lost. My birthday gift was a family front-yard landscaping project. Since its beautification I’ve been working away at restoring an old door to replace the one we currently have out front. The door is probably as old as our house, donated to us from our neighbours because it was literally covered in shit. I could smell the putrid faeces as I scraped the layers of hot, bubbling paint off the surface, but underneath was this gorgeous buttery finish. With sore backs, sweat, blood, tears, dancing and dinner parties we are pouring love into our lot, making this home more of a haven as each day passes. I'm learning that these efforts are worth it. 

I’ve been making time for silliness lately. I think I lost some of my silly along the way to adulthood and it makes me sad when I think about it too much. I like that part of myself, the one that tries headstands in parks with strangers, car dances in traffic because I’ve just got to move or convinces her husband to graffiti the back shed late at night after a argument as a way of calling a truce.


Sim said to me recently while driving up to cottage country, “we need to get our home in order.” I responded, “yeah, like our renovations, we need to sort that out.” He replied, “no our HOME. US. “ We were talking about kids (not because we’re having them, but because we might someday and I love a good plan). It got me thinking about how we are family now. This is my immediate tribe. him, the cats, myself, but it’s as if we’re still not quite there. We still have ourselves lingering in the families and communities we left to form our own, while trying to integrate ourselves into a new community. This tethering together takes patience and that comes with the passage of time.


The morning after we finished the front garden I went outside to water it. I noticed a spider hanging in its web between the spirea and hydrangea bush. I needed to move the spirea and knew I’d have to destroy its webbed home. My tearful reaction was ridiculous with the amount of times I’ve killed spiders, but this seemed awful. All that weaving and spinning, only to be eradicated.  I knew it wasn’t about the spider. As I watched it scurry under the hydrangea leaf, hiding out thinking I couldn’t see it, I peeled its home apart. This broke me. Some days, if I’m honest, I’m terrified of this happening to us, somehow that this web I’ve been tending to for years now will be destroyed.  I don’t let this paralyze me though, I keep on, honouring these scary moments by constantly creating, building our home, making it a safe and welcoming place full of warmth, letting our love and dedication have the last word.

I haven’t been carrying around my phone or camera as much lately. It’s been nice just to be where I am and with the people I love. I like to collect snippets as they pass but they’re not my memories, they're a two-dimensional snap. My memories are more visceral, full of the scents, textures and unseen exchanges. I think lately I need to be reminded that these passing moments are still real even if they aren’t documented, that as I stretch myself to reach for an impression, I’m no longer entirely there. I want to trust that I can hold these precious days in my heart and mind just as they are. That’s what our time in the woods was about for me. I sat on the rocks by the water’s edge, smelling the fire burning in the distance mixed with oak, pine, fir, dogwood and mildew moss.

I carried Sim’s Grampa’s ceramic mug with me everywhere I went, like a caffeine-infused security blanket, it became a comfort by my side while I filled my days pouring over pages of a book. I go on nature walks and collect water lilies to decorate our camping table. Sim makes a rope swing, performs back flips, discovers a dead dragon fly, while he drifts in and out of the water at all hours of the day. The woods do the speaking during the day while we all enjoy the solitude of ourselves and in the evenings we grill zucchini, mushrooms, peppers with olive oil, garlic and lemon drizzle. We pass wine and chill beers for later. We share questions, stories, philosophies, laughter and marshmallows around the fire. Our summer season is fleeting, we make the most of it while it's here, carpe diem is our mantra. 

This past wedding I had to hide the flowers in the basement. One for temperature control and two because Hobbes was getting high on the lisianthus, destroying every one he could get his little pink paws on. My mom (who has been assisting me all summer; I have loved this time so much) was brining arrangements up from the basement the morning of the wedding to begin packing the car, my basement is basically the place I want no one to go, packed with boxes of unsorted belongings, Sim’s tools and anything else we can’t find a place for. It’s a disaster down there, but as my mom reminded me later, “this is grassroots Jess, it’s where it all starts, in a cool disorganized basement.”

The juxtaposition of the elegant flowers against a backdrop of insanity on cement seemed fitting; it was something I would have captured if I had been carrying my camera around. Instead, I took it in, noting the place they once laid as I lifted the vase, looking around at the disorganized piles of basement belongings. (Since I wrote this Sim has been cleaning out the basement, re-organizing and installing shelving units. He’s a real life Lego/Janga systemizing King, way better at that stuff than I am, my book shelves pile up in T-shapes. )

I’ve thought about what my mom said since then, how this is the beginning. Start small and grow from there. I have to remind myself of this when I get discouraged or confused about what I’m doing with my life. This is what dreams are made of - basement flowers. I didn't anticipate this life I'm living now, that I'd be running a floral design business or own a home in Hamilton. I didn't know that I'd work on weddings when years ago I despised the entire idea. I definitely didn't think I'd like it. I didn't know I'd be such a nester or that I could fall in love the way I have. I didn't know that I'd meet the people I have and become a better, happy version of myself because of them.  There is so much we think we know, but we don't and this gives me hope. It pushes me to surrender, to remain open. Regardless of where A FINE MEDLEY is heading or where we are going, we are here now, becoming, and it’s these days that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

 As I sand away the rough surfaces of the door, sweat seeping off my brow, I can feel my insides smooth themselves out too and I feel lucky to be playing at this life, like I won a lottery ticket of talents and loved ones. I also know that nothing truly excellent gets built when everything is easy. I know this is a gift, the times of struggle and harmony. I have nothing but gratitude for it all, and I look forward to this next year full of things that have never been.


Dreaming True by Jessica Hunter

Dreaming True by Robert Moss 

It is not enough to be able to drop your body as easily as a


take flight like the eagle, enter the hollow hills, talk with angels,

and dance among the stars.

We must make the return.

We must live in this world and be gardens

for the dreams that want to take root in it.

Ma Muse Martha by Jessica Hunter

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others." - Martha Graham