Thursday, September 17, 2009


Yesterday I introduced my new "Profile Photo" because it seemed appropriate and time for a change.  It is a photo of my own violin, made in Paris, France in 1856 by Georges Chanot.  I paid about $1,000 when I bought it in 1954, and it would cost about $50,000 today.  That is average value for a decent violin.  I play it every day--except when on scooter trips--and play in public regularly.


Oh, the suffering I endured as a child, age between 6-9 as I was told that I must practice my violin first before enjoying the fruits of childhood.  Playing outside, making friends, networking, fighting, hurting, being hurt, making up. friends forever--those were the things I gave up.  By the time I got outside, the games were over, most had gone home, and I was left to go shovel a lot of stuff in the barn.  Yeah, that kind of stuff, guys.  

But I did not mind the work, it was the practice, practice, practice.  For WHAT?  

Now I know for what.  It was that I learn as much about playing the violin, so I could play it for myself, for others, for God.  And I could even teach others how to play.  Well, that's not entirely true:  I could teach others how to practice!  That way, they might learn to play.

NOTE:  Always I have heard sports figures on their jobs being described as players.  The same with musicians, "I'm 'playing' tonight"...or "Are you 'playing' anywhere?"  It is "work", folks...work.  Football or music, it is work, a job.  True, it is satisfying.  But not always fun.


I'm sure you can see where this is going.  Alcoholics Anonymous "Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."  Ah, yes!  "Practice!"  There is that word again.  Practice.  Do I have to?  Must I?  If I want to stay sober, yes.  I do certain things.  I practice.

If I wish to love others and be loved by others, I must practice these Principles.  If I desire to possess some semblance of serenity, happiness, and peace, I will practice in all my doings--these twelve steps.  I guess the key word IS "practice".  

I do not have to ever perform solo on the concert stage of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I just have to practice daily, everywhere and all the time, these things which I have learned--from  someone else who practiced them before me.  And if I want to live--I mean really LIVE...the simple recipe is to continue to practice.

Football players do it. Baseball players do it. Hockey players do it.  Marathoners do it.  Soccer players do it.  Violin players do it--all their lives. And millions of recovering alcoholics do it--all their lives!  It's called "Practice".

Let's DO IT!


~Christina~ said...

Being the mommy of a hope-to-be symphony tuba player, I comepltey understand your love for your violin. Jackson has the same love for his Yamaha tuba.

Music is love....


~Christina~ said...

Being the mother of a hope-to-be professional symphony tuba player, I understand your love for the violin. I would love to hear a tape of your playing. Maybe prayer girl can take a video of you playing and upload it to youtube???? Please!!!!!

Mike Golch said...

great posting.I know that I will never be a professional Hammered Dulcimer player.I am just happy to play it even as badly as I do.the sound to me is a lovely thing to listen to.

I have to agree with Christina,Music is love.

Ed G. said...

Practicing principles can certainly be enough to keep my little head occupied today.

Blessings and aloha...

Tall Kay said...

I never understood why they called it a practice for doctors...

Learning to do things right takes lots of practice for me too. I wish it was easier sometimes, but the worthwhile stuff just takes time. Today I'm willing to learn.

I'd love to hear you play too!

John DeFlumeri Jr said...

Steve, you're right of course. No practice is no skill, and it's not what we "know", but rather what we "do". It' feels good to have left those drinking days behind.

White Forest said...

you have stroke the right chord ...defly practice is the key...

why dont u record your violen music and put it on this blog for all of us so we can rejoice with your music :)

Shadow said...

practice, practice, and somewhere, some time, it becomes a labour of love...

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Ah practice practice practice!!!



I am learning (more and more) how the practice is all there is, there is only the meeting God in the practice of the principles, of the talents, of the love ... He's right there in that moment... right in the Now!

Dulce said...

Thank you dear Steve for coming by and wishing me a happy birthday!
I love your new profile photo, hadn't I told you!
Want to see me? I'm the one at the bottom of my sidebar!

Margie said...

Your violin is beautiful!
How I love to listen to the violin!

Such a wonderful message you have shared here on the principle of practice!
Practice, practice, practice!
I shall put that into pratice today!

Thank you, Steve!
I feel like I'm learing so much about life from you!

Blessings to you!


Syd said...

Lovely violin. Did you play any when you were in town? I wrote about a similar thing today--that I need to practice the principals in all aspects of life.

diane d said...

Thanks for the reminder.

And your violin is beautiful!

Cat said...

Perfect choise for the new profile photo!!!

Margie said...

Just thought you might like this quote, Steve.

Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin.
-John Lubbock

Hope your day is going well.


Carol said...

Pema Chodrin has the same advice for those who think that they should have 'arrived' . . .
P R A C T I C E . . .

big Jenn said...

You practice what you preach Steve, that's for sure! jeNN

Brandi said...

Practice? Oh yeah... I seem too often to forget about all the grunt work that goes into recovery. Thank you for your post, what a great and practical reminder.

Kerrie said...

I love the violin it is truely beautiful when played well.
My mother gave us piano and violin lessons when we were children. I was particulary bad at the violin and had a skill which made it sound like a strangled cat.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
Peace to you as well hun.