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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Command Of A Craft

"The curved metal eyes of the stoplights never shut..."
 from "Lark & Termite" by Jayne Anne Phillips (2009)

A few weeks ago I was listening to Jeff Beck playing "Cause We've Ended As Lovers". Beck has an uncanny amount of control on the electric guitar. A short while later I noticed the phrase above in Phillips' 2009 novel (just one of many in that book), and I found myself inexplicably thinking of Jeff Beck. As I searched for a common thread, I realized both had grabbed me with their command of a craft. When was the last time you were struck by this? How useful is the distinction between being talented vs. being in command? In which craft do you feel in command?

Soon after finishing "Lark & Termite", I began thinking of two of the teachers in my life who went way beyond being skilled or talented. Then a few days ago I saw the documentary "Waiting For Superman". When the data presented in that movie showed the difference extraordinary teachers can make, I found myself thinking again of Jeff Beck, then Jayne Anne Phillips, then my two teachers.     

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