Thursday, November 01, 2007

Nasrudin and the Perfect Note

I was thinking of a one line project and I remembered this Nasrudin story.

Nasrudin is determined to learn the violin. He borrows one. Locks himself in a room and plays. After an hour or so he comes out, proclaims to his wife he can play, orders her to invite friends, neighbours and family to a feast. “After we eat I’ll play for them” Nasrudin says. “Don’t be ridiculous, you’ve only played for an hour in a locked room – it takes years to learn how to play the violin.” But he insists.

When the guests finished eating Nasrudin picked up the violin and began to play one long, continuous note. This went on for a few minutes, the guests began to make polite smiles, after ten minutes or so they were restless in their seats and after twenty minutes they looked at the door. After half an hour everyone had left – and Nasrudin stopped playing. His wife looked angry and so ashamed. “I have never been so humiliated, so embarrassed, in front of all our friends and family”….she was speechless. To play a violin you need pitch, intonation, pace, pauses, different notes”. “No, no no wife. All those musician’s are looking for the one perfect note, and tonight everyone heard it.” Said Nasrudin.

I told the story to a colleague of mine and he replied with this story.

Apparently James Joyce was sitting over his writing for the day. He was weeping. A friend came by and asked him what the matter was. Joyce replied that he had only written nine words the whole day. The friend consoled him saying that he would probably write more tomorrow and at least you have written something.

Joyce looked up and said something like I don't mind that its only nine words. The trouble is they are all in the wrong order.

Watch this space!


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