Friday, March 13, 2009

The Broken String

Grace Stuhlman's poem "The Broken String" tells a simple story with a simple point that feels central to my life. The great violinist Yitzak Perlman walks on stage to perform with a small ensemble. Early in the piece, one of his violin strings breaks. He does not stop. He does not leave the stage for another string. He plays on. Afterward, he says, "It's what you do." You play with the strings you have. Stuhlman elaborates that you don't just play the score. You go beyond the score, playing soul over below and within the score -- and when you lack the strings even to play the score, you play on with the strings you have left.

1 comment:

Dr. Demetrius said...

This is an old story, first written about Paganini, long before Perlman. Paganini broke 3 strings, and amazingly continued to make beautiful music with only 1string!!!

Too bad TEC is not doing the same thing!!!!

Guess TEC is having its "500 year Rummage Sale." Only problem is TEC is "throwing the baby out with the bathwater."