Practice makes practice


When I (Martine) was a child, practice meant “practicing piano,” something I profoundly disliked. Later I associated practice with dance classes which I loved, and still later, as a devoted student, practice became something I looked forward to—whether it was reading or drawing or designing or putting down my yoga mat, practice became a ritual I couldn’t see myself doing without. The father of modern Ashtanga Yoga, Sri Pattabhi Jois, famously said “Practice, and all is coming,” and he was right. The more you practice, the more adept you become. And the more skills you acquire, the more you realize there is still more to know!

A few years ago, a teacher I was studying with said, “Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes permanent” and her words hit me like the reverberating soundwaves of a gong. Of course! Practice is how you develop virtuosity, how you embed ideas into your very being, how you develop and “cultivate the exquisiteness of your own self awareness.”

This short film of Claude Lelouch’s, “C’était un rendez-vous,” is a perfect example of how one thing can be transformed into more of itself, over a series of practices. With each reimagining, the film continues developing its own sort of virtuosity. Shot in a single take in 1976, it’s a zippy eight or so minutes of fast and furious driving through the streets of Paris. You can watch it forward, you can watch it backward, you can listen to the ways clever people and artists have merged the sound of the car with music, how they’ve plotted the film, mapped it, and even recreated it with milestones and a live map in case you decide that you, too, want to pretend to be Ayrton Senna or Alain Prost

The nice part about practice is that it’s never complete -- it’s ongoing!