Ellsworth Kelly speaking about himself and Agnes Martin: “Agnes’s and my art share a love of the anonymous, of doing the work. The work itself is what’s important. We don’t want our personality in the art. We all had to get over Picasso, because his was great ”˜personality art.’ For abstract expressionists, gesture was very important ”“ we were trying to get away from the ”˜I,’ as in ”˜look how well I do it.’ Then, there is a stillness we appreciate in each other’s work, as in a common destiny.”
We often talk in SourcePoint about the resonances between healing and art, of healing as an art. We also talk about the importance of a practioner “getting out of the way.” As we connect with Blueprint for health, as we hold the points, it’s not about us. It’s about the work. This statement by Ellsworth Kelly beautifully expresses the principle of getting out of the way. It’s not about “personality healing.” It’s about the work. It’s about the “love of the anonymous,” being willing to be invisible. Years ago, I think in Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Somé, I read that true power remains hidden. It doesn’t display itself. It doesn’t need to. The love of the anonymous, the willingness to be invisible as one works, the emphasis on “the work” rather than personality: all of this goes against the prevailing cultural norms. Our culture values personality and celebrity.
If you are engaged in healing work, if you are reading these words, chances are you carry the archetype of the healer. Sometimes people are uncomfortable with that word “healer.” They think it sounds pretentious. It can be, if one is invested in it from a personality perspective. On the other hand, there is great benefit that comes from accepting that archetype in yourself when you recognize that in its very nature, the word is the opposite of pretentious. The word “healer” is indicative of a dedication to service and a commitment to benefit others, a willingness to let go of personality and personal power, and an awareness that “it’s about the work.” That’s what we mean by “healer,” not someone who magically cures other people of illness or injury, or who claims to do so. The root of the word heal means among other things to make whole. For healing we need to address the physical with appropriate physical modalities, and to recognize that there are methods of working with energy and consciousness that can help our connection to spirit, to Source, to the inherent Order, Balance, Harmony and Flow. That last is our work in SourcePoint Therapy. We provide a method of strengthening that connection.
Still, we all need support in that dedication and commitment and willingness. To provide that support is one of the intentions of this blog. When we come together to share our experiences of the power of getting out of the way, the beauty of the work itself, then, yes, really “there is a stillness we appreciate in each other’s work, as in a common destiny.”
Ellsworth Kelly’s quote appears in the book 3x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing: Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, Agnes Martin, edited by Catherine de Zegher and Hendel Teicher.
©2011 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei