Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tools of the Trade

I've been thinking a lot about Doc Watson who passed away this past Tuesday. While his music was brilliant and his determination palpable, the part of his story that keeps haunting me really has more to do with his father.
Doc's blindness was the result of an eye infection he developed when he was only a year old. His father, a local musician, put a banjo in young Doc's hands and told him "Now son, you learn to play that real good, and I'll get you a better one one day." Doc mastered the instrument by the time he was five years old, and his dad traded a week's worth of pay at the saw mill for a Stella guitar for his son.  
This story bares repeating because it communicates the power of true love. Rather than despair of his son's blindness, Doc's father gave him the only tools he had. He did not treat his son like a poor disabled boy. Instead, he worked and sacrificed to give him access to art, which allowed him to 'see' the world in some way. Doc absorbed his father's dream and determination and went on to become a more talented and celebrated musician than either of them could have imagined.
Now that's a story we can all incorporate into our lives!


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