Today I’m posting a link to a video that will take up 5 minutes of you day, but will have you thinking for days.

It’s not new–my husband actually showed this to me months ago, and the speech was given at a conference in 2006. But it came up on my radar again, and I just had to share it with as many people as I can.

Paul Hawken’s speech on his book Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being, and Why No One Saw It Coming.

How does this fit in with art?

One of my mentors, fiber artist Deborah Kruger told us in a workshop, “The world needs your art to heal.” She made me realize that my work could fill a larger role than simply fulfilling me. It could be something more than just decoration (though work that is functional, beautiful or simply fun and pretty can be healing, too.)

Our work, as a function of creativity, is the very antithesis of hate and destruction and calamity.

Some people’s art may work in more direct ways for “the force for good and healing.” But even “little” work still contributes. And no one can ever know the full effect their efforts have in the world. That’s where faith comes in.

I saw that my work could connect with other people and tell a larger story, perhaps even help them tell their story.

I can see my work somehow fitting in with this “blessed unrest”. The idea seems to resonate with the blessed unrest I’ve felt in my heart for a long time now.

It will be interesting to see where that leads me.

Where could it lead you?

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

3 thoughts on “BLESSED UNREST”

  1. Wow.

    I’m going to tattoo this post on the inside of my eyelids, so I will be able to read and re-read it every time I blink, all night long as I sleep, until I can respond to ANYONE who asks me why I do what I do with a beatific smile and the words, “Our work, as a function of creativity, is the very antithesis of hate and destruction and calamity.”



  2. Wonderful. I was unaware of Paul Hawken but the words “Blessed Unrest” come from a quote I have long held holy, written by Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille. (Martha lived about forever, but I think the letter happened when they were relatively young and still building careers.)

    Martha was trying to encourage Agnes to create in spite of doubt, that the world needed her work. I put the quote on this page on my site (with other inspiring quotes about creativity:

    I do think about art versus destruction at times. I particularly think of it when I recall that my short, dull, plastic knitting needles were denied me on a plane ride shortly after 9/11. They were nowhere near as sharp as the metal-tipped pen I was allowed to use instead, on a crossword puzzle book.

    It seemed to me then and now, that knitting is about creation rather than destruction. And knitting is only one sort of creativity/art. Knitting needles are now usually allowed on most domestic flights (so many are wood or plastic anyway, there is no way to generalize about what they even look like if you are familiar with the artform at all).

    It is great to find your blog again. I remember the early blog days (I read your first post), you wrote so wonderfully… but as you say here, you were not a regular poster back then.

    I’m very happy for you that the writing has emerged as a clear partner with your other artful talents. I’ll buy the book(s), no question.

    Hugs from snowy Lansing, Michigan…


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