There is purpose in design. There is information in a setting. There is truth in your environment. Fake or real, it's there.
All images are copyrighted by Heidi Hoffer unless otherwise indicated. Your courtesy in using my photographs must include crediting me as the photographer. You must tell me when and where you've used them and send the link to me showing your use of them.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Practice Makes Perfect
There is a perception out there that if one practices a thing; one will get good at it.
I accepted those words when my music teacher told me them. I’d heard them before from my father and mother, grandmother and grandfather. I practiced for 30 minutes each day. My father turned on the stove timer to make sure. Soon, I practiced 1 hour each day. Later, it was for 3 to 4 hours each day and sometimes 6 hours each day. But in between childhood and adulthood, there was a dark period when I hated practicing.
Of course the practice sessions were for music, both piano and bassoon. I practiced in music classes, orchestra rehearsals, recital rehearsals, and again at home where the dog would howl in accompaniment. (I once turned in an audition tape not knowing my Old English Sheep dog was singing along in the background, and got the scholarship anyway!).
The music became dog-eared, graphite and eraser-colored. I collected more: solos, duets, blue ribbons, red ribbons, and gold medallions, marble and silver trophies. More music, yellowed with age, came from my teachers. Reed making materials came from a long ways away. Competitions were stiff. I lived in a world of music, almost.
Practice, practice, practice.
I did not believe those same words spoken by my father and mother, grandmother and grandfather. I drew pictures because I could. I already knew how. They all knew how and they all drew and they all played music so of course I just knew how. I drew because I loved it. I wanted the days to be longer so I could draw later into the night. I groaned when I was still drawing and the dawn birds were telling me I had not yet been to bed. But in between childhood and adulthood there was a dark period when I hated drawing.
There came a time when I wasn’t good enough, when I couldn’t draw exactly what I saw or play that lick as sweetly and dynamically as I wanted. I wanted to quit.
I met an old woman, who made friends easily and had the care of seven cats. Her home was crowded with memories, and she moved through the piles of her memories saying “Excuse me!” “Let’s see,
She invited me in for tea, sweeping cats, magazines, and cookie crumbs off the table and wiping out a milk-filled mug for me to use. Her cats assembled all around me, judging me; their tails curled around their feet tightly. One cat, the old one, left his post and jumped into my lap, sniffing my tea mug. It was his milk mug. He looked at me, meowed and settled into my lap, purring. The old woman looked at me through the corner of her eyes. She told me he liked artists, was I an artist? Did I make music and draw pictures? I looked at the cat, comfortable in my lap. I took a deep breath and said “Yes.”