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Sto Lat

(this story appears in Old Roads and Shadows, an eBook )

Sto Lat

I phoned my friend last night, the sculptor Richard Jaworowski. He was relaxing with his wife at home back in Connecticut. Richard is a dedicated and accomplished artist, a sculptor of marble and a carver of fine woods. The downturn in the economy has been especially tough on Richard; he might lose the space that serves as his studio and he is not selling any marble pieces. The carved sensual wood sculpture he creates is selling but they do not command the same purchase price as marble. To make matters worse, he sold some work on installment to generate income and the payments from several individuals have been getting smaller as the worsening economy affects them in turn.

He told me a friend paid him $50 on the marble piece he took months ago; Richard expected monthly payments of $150 to $200. Although things are tough all over and everyone is hurting, the $50 did come in handy.

“At least,” he told me in a warm and positive tone, “we have a new bottle of vodka and two pounds of good fresh coffee.”

Yes, Richard, I hear you; sometimes that is enough. Get up in the morning and do it again: carve, create, and continue to live and love your life, a coffee to celebrate the enthusiasm of the morning and a vodka to relax and ease the resignation of the evening.

In friendship, we celebrated his bounty with a long-distance drink, he in Connecticut and I in Los Angeles. As Poles, we raised our glasses, each with a shot of vodka, and he said the words of the toast in Polish, “Sto lat", which means "100 years", or "May you live a hundred years”.

Yes, my friend, I appreciate your sentiments; joy exists in the contentment of life, in the simple things we share with family and friends.

May you live a hundred years.




September 2008
Los Angeles