all we have left

Filtration tank, Shastraling Talau (near Rani ki vav), Patan. Gujarat, India.
Novemeber 1995, platinum-palladium print, 8×10 in
Tonight, a friend, Claire Reishman read out an inspiring anecdote (I think from Wayne Dosick’s When Life Hurts: A Personal Journey from Adversity to Renewal) about Itzhak Perlman to a group of participants at Shakerag Workshops. In short, he is reputed to have performed a concerto with only three strings, the fourth having snapped during the performance. At the end of a stunning concert, he silenced the audience’s applause 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.’ There is some doubt about the authenticity of this story, but the lesson far outweighs its veracity (or not). What we have left… much has been written about creativity in terms of its energy, vigor and all the linkages our culture establishes between it and youth. Little is said or acknowledged about the steadily increasing burden of the creative endeavor and its links with age, virtuosity, and necessity. That is, ultimately, all we have left. Thanks Claire!