Pablo Casals and Me

if it ain't broke

So, there was a lot of email response to my recent “Blog News” post.

Mostly the responses urged me not to change anything – not to listen to busy bodies who gave me advice about my blog. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was the concerned response from several people.

Thanks, everyone. I get it. But two points. One, I asked for the advice. It wasn’t as though people came to me and told me how my blog could be better. I went to them – and I’m still going to them.

Which leads to my second point. Trying to be better isn’t the same thing as fixing what ain’t broke.

Reminds me of the old Pablo Casals story. Someone noticed that the great cellist, then in his 90s, was practicing on his cello with great concentration. “Why do you bother?” someone asked. And Casals – this may be an apocryphal story, but I like it – said, “Because I’m noticing improvement.”

Of course. What Casals and I (and probably a few others down through history) believe is that it’s important to keep trying to be better.

Isn’t anyone impressed that I signed up with “Bloggers Helping Bloggers”? Doesn’t it sound like a grand humanitarian organization – like “Doctors Without Borders”? Okay, maybe not, but it sounds promising, and maybe I’ll get some really cool ideas.

Again, thanks so much for the feedback. And thanks for liking the blog as it is. I should have known that most of my readers who are church members would be opposed to change … on principle.

(Photo credit: Any first-year Latin student should be able to translate that one.)

About Doug

I have been a writer ever since fifth grade when I won second prize in a “prose and poetry” contest. I am also a Presbyterian pastor, and for several years toward the end of my career I lived and worked in Zürich, Switzerland. I am now retired and live just north of Holland, Michigan, along the lake.

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7 Responses to Pablo Casals and Me

  1. Dennis Ulmer June 28, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    You can get help from “Bloggers Helping Bloggers”. In my opinion, everyone has a style of writing and blogging. I don’t think your “style” will change. You just might lean some tips to make your blog better in some ways, but what you say which is often from your heart, that isn’t going to change. I think you are very smart Doug, and you want to learn and improve upon whatever you do. I think that is evident in your sermons. They are always interesting and heart felt. I always think that you try to make us better Christians, and just better people in general. It’s a part of changing as we grow. Getting advice on “blogging” or anything else for that matter. We should always strive to do better in everything that we do.

  2. Traci Smith June 28, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Love this, Doug! Yes, we can always improve. I had a mentor once who said the hardest thing to do when it comes to criticism is sort out the criticism that is a true gem and that which is just noise. I enjoy your blog!

    • Doug June 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Traci, I didn’t know – until I clicked on your name – that you have a blog. It looks terrific. Congratulations. Good luck with it too. I hope you have as much fun with yours, as I’m having with mine.

  3. Sheila June 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I like your blog, I read it all the time, its enjoyable and I can access it no matter where I am. You have always impressed me with your quest to be better at whatever you are doing at the time, so take in what they say, adapt it to your style (which you will) and keep writing

  4. Barb Keith June 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    You messages are always thought-provocations and from the heart! Just keep them coming. Barb & Tom Keith.
    We will be back in Florida next week. Can’t wait!!!

  5. Marvin Hage June 30, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    On June 16th, I visited White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh and heard John Roberto describe his work. He describes what you are doing with your blog. It is a new and important venue of ministry. Here is the web address:

    p.s. Did I mention that John Roberto is an Irish Catholic.


  6. Georgia Hamilton July 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    I’ve read your blog a couple of times, and found myself smilng, both times. I loved the Casals quote especially. I’ve decided to resign from church choir (after about 60 yrs!) One of the reasons is because I just can’t count on my voice “being there” when I need it. (When I have practiced over a period of time I’ve noticed the voice is better, if only by degrees.) Needless to say, if I determine to practice a little, I may not loose everything I have!

    I can’t think of one blog of yours that I haven’t smiled at, come away with a different perspective or thought,”why didn’t I think of that’?

    I thoroughly enjoy your musings, Doug—don’t change too much!