Use your talent before life decides to take it away

The other day I heard a story about a brilliant young novelist who had a brain aneurysm that left her unable to write.  The next morning I listened to a podcast about Jacqueline Du Pre, the brilliant British cellist who came down with multiple sclerosis at the age of 27, subsequently had to give up performing, and died from the disease at the age of 42.

It’s good to be reminded every once in a while that life sucks; so create beauty while you can.  Here is Du Pre playing the first movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto; you could just watch her emote for eight minutes without bothering to listen to the music.  The orchestra is conducted by her husband, Daniel Barenboim.  She was 22 at the time; he was 25.  They were on top of the world then; she’s been dead for 30 years now, and he is still going strong.  (The movie Hillary and Jackie recounts the story of Du Pre, her sister, and their husbands.  It’s a harrowing story, although apparently its accuracy is in dispute.)