Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quote: Marshal Suvorov

"Hard training, easy combat; easy training, hard combat" Marshal Suvorov, Russian General

Switches law for pottery, saves his life

There’s never a good time for cancer. When it hit Willie Leftwich, he was a high-power Washington attorney. He led his own law firm, tended to major clients, earned lots of money, and never lacked for prestige. But, at the same time, it was a stressful life. That way of life came to a rather sudden end. He was 57 when his doctor told him he had colon cancer. After surgery came a year of arduous chemotherapy. It laid him low; he had lots of time to think about the meaning of life, his life.

When he was in the hospital, he came to realize how great the simple things were, things like just being able to walk. Or eat. Or live without pain.

He decided that the legal profession –- taking depositions, preparing witnesses, going to court, contesting a case, logging hours on a billing time sheet – weren’t all that satisfying in the grander scheme of things.

But what was? Leftwich quit his law firm and went on a search. He tried real estate, investing and even creative writing. None hit the spot.

Then, at a friend’s behest, he tried pottery. He took a class. He was educated as an engineer (undergraduate, Howard University), so he had the engineer’s love of making things. He found he enjoyed the process of making pottery, loved it, in fact. He mastered the wheel, forming pots, glazes, and firing. He built a studio onto the back of his home where he makes his artful bowls, jars, pitchers, vases.

He says ceramics relaxes, calms him, making him happier than ever before. He says it saved his life. His story was told in the AARP Bulletin, December, 2006 issue. See more of his work.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Quote: Attila the Hun, another favorite, said:

"Superficial goals lead to superficial results."

Quote: One of our favorite thinkers,
Anonymous, once said:

"It's a dream until you write it down, and then its a goal."

Quote: Yuri Vlason on The White Moment

"At the peak of tremendous and victorious effort, while the blood is pounding in your head, all suddenly comes quiet within you. Everything seems clearer and whiter than ever before, as if great spotlights had been turned on. At that moment, you have the conviction that you contain all the power in the world, that you are capable of everything, that you have wings. There is no more precise moment in life than this, the WHITE MOMENT, and you will work hard for years, just to taste it again."

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Quits piano, comes back as leading light

Music teachers are often more effective at quenching the love of music vis-à-vis stoking the fire. So it was with Gabriela Montero.

CBS News reported the following: "By age 11, Montero was at a crossroads: already a big fish in a small musical pond. Her parents decided to bring her to the United States to study.

"I think they felt it was their responsibility to provide everything they could for me to develop. And that’s what they did," Gabriela says.

"The family settled in Miami, where as a teenager, she was profiled on television. It was a carefree portrait of the artist as a young woman.

"But privately, there was doubt and frustration. Gabriela’s teacher questioned her talent, and belittled her improvising."

She didn't play for two years. She would come to the piano later, however, and most improbably, is now one of the most sought after names on both the classical, and jazz stages. More....................