If I have learned one thing…

02019-10-31 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

…it is that everything worth doing is worth doing well and that doing something well takes practice and that the sooner one embraces the idea of practice the better it is.

My first taste of practice was playing guitar. Nobody had to remind me to practice because it quickly became clear to me how it worked: the more time I put into the instrument the more familiar it became. The more familiar the instrument became the more I enjoyed the music I could make.

The second taste of practice was meditation. My mom was very skeptical of meditation. If she had spoken English she might have called it Eastern Mumbo Jumbo. She soon had a change of heart, however. One day, several months into a daily practice of meditating for twenty minutes before school, and another twenty minutes before dinner, she asked whether I had already done my evening meditation. I told her I hadn’t and that I might not have time for it. She suggested I should do it now. I looked at her the way a teenager looks at a parent when they think “what do you care, mom”… she picked up on that unspoken communication and said, I can see the difference it makes when you meditate. Really, I asked, surprised that this could be. Yes, she replied. So I sat down and meditated, marveling at the idea that meditation was changing me, perhaps in a subtle way only my mom could detect, but changing me nonetheless.

A recent example of practice has been making bread. I started baking at the end of 2013 and started writing down what went into every loaf on 12 January 2014. For six years I have made between four and eight loaves every week I was home. That means I have made between 700 and 1,000 loaves of bread. Dough is becoming familiar in the way that the guitar is familiar and meditating is familiar.

Everything worth doing well is worth practicing. My girlfriend and I started a writing practice this year, which I love because I would like to become a better writer. We switch off choosing a word that we have to write about. On go we have 2 minutes to think about the word and then 23 minutes to write something. We have each written 82 of these pieces so far. Some of them are stories and some are little essays.


  1. janeparhamkatz

    Thank you for the “23 minute” idea. I love to write, draw, and practice piano. My problem is that once I start one of these activities, I do it for hours with no defined goal – then burn out and dread returning. I have already tried the 23-minute discipline on drawing, and it was delicious. If you ever want to teach, you would be wonderful!

  2. Steve

    What a fantastic essay.

    (I realize you wrote it nearly two weeks ago, but I don’t get online much anymore)

    I saved a text version of it to my “Notes” app. I will be revisiting it often.

  3. Judy and Ed Mandler

    You asked some very good questions about online concerts. We have been enjoying streamed concerts by a number of artists during this period. We have enjoyed them on Facebook, StageIt, and YouTube and each platform has its advantages. The artists all say that they enjoy this way to stay connected to their audiences/fans and to continue to make music. Facebook and StageIt have the option for people to make comments, requests, and just to let you know where they are geographically. We would look forward to hearing and seeing you if you decide to do this!


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