Friday, July 15, 2011

Prices to be paid

Some years back,when you were still thinking there was something to be gained from the discipline of taking journalism assignments, you were assigned an interview with a ballerina.  She agreed to meet you in a rehearsal studio at eight on the morning after she had danced the lead role in Swan Lake.  


By the time you'd arrived, she was well into her stretching and bending exercises, which she continued for nearly a half hour before stopping, spending perhaps five more minutes with you, then dismissing you so that she could shower, dress, and approach her breakfast and whatever else the day held in store for her.

During those five minutes, you remarked how much you'd enjoyed her performance the night before and spoke with admiration of her discipline at exercising so comprehensively the morning after.

She said, and you thought she did so without any trace of bitterness, "I am thirty-seven years old.  To dance the lead in Swan Lake at this age and not exercise would leave me nearly unable to walk."

Such words and thoughts lead you in your own way to thinking about the price to be paid for attaining any ability at all, then for using it, then for keeping it up.

Tomorrow, you will set forth on your twofer plan--two new book projects.  Nonfiction project:  complete revision of a book originally published in 1991.  Working hours on it, 7:30 a.m. until 12:30.  Half an hour for lunch, an hour for some editing chores, then back to the novel, which is already turning out to be something other than what you expected.

Prices to be paid.

Glad to pay them.

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