When Martha Graham was a child, she often visited her father’s office after work hours. One such day, she climbed on a pile of books so she could see the top of her father’s desk, where he was looking at a drop of water on a glass slide. When he asked her what she saw, she described it as “pure water.” He slipped the slide under the lens of a microscope, and she peered once more through the lens. “But there are wriggles in it,” she said in horror.
“Yes, it is impure,” he replied. “Just remember this all your life, Martha. You must look for the truth—good, bad, or unsettling.”
“Movement,” he taught her, “never lies.” It was a lesson she would recall years later, as she dictated her memoir, Blood Memory, at age ninety-six. “In a curious way, this was my first dance lesson,” Graham writes, “a gesture toward the truth. Each of us tells our own story even without speaking.” Read More