strengthI left because I could no longer make records that sounded less and less like me. I tried to please people instead of believing in my own strength, until the only thing I could do was walk away. Melissa Manchester Swan Lake’ is the most difficult thing to portray for a female ballet dancer it really requires such specific qualities of articulation, agility, strength, and the arm work is something that takes a lot of training. The only reason I would stay away from a period piece is because sometimes the women are painted in a very stereotypical weakling, wallflower way – that’s something I don’t want to do. I want to show strength in the women I play, and a journey of some sort. If a weakly mortal is to do anything in the world besides eat the bread thereof, there must be a determined subordination of the whole nature to the one aim no trifling with time, which is passing, with strength which is only too limited. I’ve always been really athletic, which really helped, because when I first started doing the training for Bulletproof Monk, it required so much strength that if I didn’t have a base I don’t really know what I would have done. Death used to announce itself in the thick of life but now people drag on so long it sometimes seems that we are reaching the stage when we may have to announce ourselves to death. It is as though one needs a special strength to die, and not a final weakness. The strength of the United States is not the gold at Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction that we have, but the sum total of the education and the character of our people. It is no use painting the foot of the tree white, the strength of the bark cries out from beneath the paint. Tonight I should like to thank all those who have shared my work and to acknowledge the debt that I owe to my wife whose encouragement to put research before all other things has been a great strength to me. This is just what I have thought when I have seen slaves at work – they seem to go through the motions of labor without putting strength into them. They keep their powers in reserve for their own use at night, perhaps.