(Sculptor: an artist who makes sculptures; carver; modeller.)
A sculptor sits at his block of stone. In his mind is a vision of what he’d like to carve from it.
With every stroke of his hammer, he must decide.
What to keep? What to remove?
The chisel moves a little. The artist adjusts his instrument’s angle, the direction of his stroke.
After every few hits, a piece chips off and falls to the ground… to be swept away at the end of the day, as rubble.
What’s left behind with the block of stone becomes a part of his sculpture.
If he strikes wisely and well, if his mind’s eye can see the image locked within rock clearly, if he makes few mistakes and has skills or talent, he’ll create a masterpiece.
Last night, as I thought about the lovely creations in Florence’s Bargello museum – it’s to sculpture, what the Louvre is to painting! – I was struck by an insight.
We are like sculptors – of our own lives!
We were in Milan, Italy. It was the last day of our holiday trip.
Over nine days, we had travelled through three cities in two countries, walked dozens of miles, and viewed hundreds of lovely sights and scenes.
All of it had been carefully planned. We enjoyed every bit of it – but, frankly, there was little ‘surprise‘.
Until that morning in Milan, as we walked down Corso Buenos Aires on our way to the Duomo Cathedral.
A friend recently showed me a fascinating interview. Some doctors had been asked a set of intriguing questions – and their answers were just as thought-provoking.
After going through the entire collection of interviews, I thought of answering one of the questions myself. This one:
Q: Medicine is often described as an art not a science. In what ways do you find practicing medicine artful and is there a science to the art of writing? For that matter, what is the difference between art and science?
This is my reply:
Medicine is a science.
The practice of medicine, however, is both craft and art.
“I am an arrogant guy,” I wrote on a Facebook post.
And it’s true.
Most people think of arrogance as an undesirable trait. Not me.
I have a slightly different perspective. And believe there are certain roles it’s practically impossible to play well unless one is. Like being a paediatric heart surgeon.