Sunday, 25 January 2009

Divine Dissatisfaction

I was half-reminded of a quote by yesterday's coffee morning, but then I couldn't find it.

Well, I found it. Somebody (I can't remember who) said this to Maureen Lipman:

"It's not your business as an artist to judge the results of your labours. Your business is to keep the channel open, let the life force out. Judgement will just block it."

To which Ms Lipman replied: "But what about satisfaction?"

...and was told: "There is no satisfaction. Just queer, divine dissatisfaction."

I like that.


Debs said...

I love that.

Flowerpot said...

I agree about keeping channels open but I also agree with Maureen L. If yhou don't get no satisfaction, you aint gonna do it!

Fiona said...

I think the satisfaction must come with being able to connect to your readers or audience? Although the satisfaction of completing something feels good.

I do love that quote, Claire, and have never heard it before.

Clare Sudders said...

I don't entirely agree with the satisfaction part of it, I have to admit. Or rather...

I don't think that you can only be satisfied if you constantly judge what you do. But I do thik there's a lot to be said for the ability to apply criticism to one's own work and improve on it as a result. And yes, the ability to improve is satisfying. BUT there's also such a thing as cruel judgement, which isn't in the least bit constructive and does indeed close down the creative channels. Fo the first part of the quote, this is how I read it. And for the second... well, one implication is that you shouldn't try and improve on your work, and instead just create and then wallow in divine dissatisfaction... which I wouldn't agree with. But another interpretation is that you're never going to be entirely happy with what you create. Not that you shouldn't try and produce the best damn stuff you can, but rather than keep aiming for an impossible end point, relish that feeling of 'divine dissatisfaction', and don't fight it.