The greatest challenge is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Creative people... are distinguished by the fact that they can live with anxiety, even though a high price may be paid in terms of insecurity, sensitivity, and defenselessness for the gift of 'divine madness.'
(Rollo May)

Anxiety is the essential condition of intellectual and artistic creation and everything that is finest in human history. (Charles Frankel)

The natural role of twentieth-century man is anxiety. (Norman Mailer)

For as long as I can remember I have suffered from a deep feeling of anxiety which I have tried to express in my art. Without anxiety and illness I should have been like a ship without a rudder. (Edvard Munch)

General anxiety is the bridge between the manic joys of creation, exploration, new revelations, professional acceptance and reward, and the depression of self critique, professional rejection and stagnation. All are part of the roller coaster ride of an artist's life. (anon.)

Minds that are ill at ease are agitated by both hope and fear. (Ovid)
In the end, I feel that one has to have a bit of neurosis to go on being an artist. A balanced human seldom produces art. It's that imbalance which impels us... The artist lives with anxiety. (Beverly Pepper)

Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety. (Plato)
I suffered a nervous breakdown that has lasted a lifetime, though by now I have learned to live with it. (Jeanne Reynal)

-in Letters to a Young Poet
I am touched by your beautiful anxiety about life... (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Stage fright, like epilepsy, is a divine ailment, a sacred madness... It is a grace that is sufficient in the old Jesuit sense – that is, insufficient by itself but a necessary condition for success. (Charles Rosen)

Anxiety is a normal fight or flight reaction... Becoming aware of the messages we give ourselves and replacing them with positive affirmations is critical. You can't just tell yourself not to worry or not to think negatively. (Rene Seigh)

Let the anxiety flow out of our bodies, relish the solitude of our creative abilities and believe in ourselves. (Paul Allen Taylor)

The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt. (Paul Tillich)

It seems I have learned to bear the anxiety of uncertainty. Now I accept that one can't know ahead of time what is on the other side. You might say my new works project a greater degree of jeopardy. (Anne Truitt)

-on Franz Kafka...

He had a sensation of anxiety and shame, a sensitivity acute beyond usefulness, as if the nervous system, flayed of its old hide of social usage, must record every touch of pain. (John Updike)

The anxiety is unbearable. I only hope it lasts forever. (Oscar Wilde)