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What You Have Left

33. What You Have Left

Today in a notebook I’ve created titled “Nuggets,” I read once again the story about Itzhak Perlman. This famous violinist had polio as a child and in his concerts walked onto the stage with his legs in braces and with the help of two crutches. On one occasion, he made his way to his chair slowly, settled himself, removed the braces, straightened one leg in front of him and put one leg behind him. He put his violin in place and nodded to the conductor and they began.

Before even a few measures the entire audience could hear the POP of one of his violin strings and the music stopped. He sat for a minute and then nodded to the conductor again. They played together, Perlman on the spot revising and rearranging the notes to accommodate the missing string. At the end the audience sprang to their feet in applause and excitement.

Perlman motioned for silence and said, “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”

Isn’t that an amazing story—and true. At 79, now living the days of my 80th year, I switch and make back-up plans to see how much I can still do with what I have left.

And tomorrow’s writing of what I have learned will tell the other half of this.

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