Thursday, May 28, 2009

Starting slowly

I must have at least half a dozen partially written blog posts in my folder where those live.

In most cases, the posts I write come flying out my fingertips and onto the screen in a matter of a few minutes. Sometimes, the words start slowly and then build up some steam as the process transpires.

Lately, the words have started coming slowly, and then petered out altogether. Reminds me of this sprinter, who seemed fine right up until the gun went off.

What's up with that? I'm writing in other venues without this odd symptom, so I know I'm not somehow blocked or anything. I suppose part of it was my greater involvement at JJL this month, where I contributed three times as much as I normally do in any one month.

It could also be that I have yet to hit on a topic which has a few hundred words behind it, just waiting to be birthed. Instead, I keep finding subjects which have three sentences behind them.

Rather than further beat this into ground, I'll segue into one of the topics which I have already started, and we'll see where we end up.

Malcolm Gladwell is a smart guy, good writer, and interesting read. His article from last fall in The New Yorker on late bloomers is worth tracking down. Heck, tracking it down is as easy as clicking here.

The conundrum is one for which I know no solution. Genius, when presented in the prodigy, is easy to spot. What of the late bloomer, though? The Grandma Moses or C├ęzanne? Here is how Gladwell presented the puzzle:

Whenever we find a late bloomer, we can’t but wonder how many others like him or her we have thwarted because we prematurely judged their talents. But we also have to accept that there’s nothing we can do about it.

I hold onto this concept because it allows one as old as I am to believe in a blooming which is yet to come. "I'm not a disappointment, I'm just a late bloomer."

By whatever means necessary, one must engage in order to live, so if it takes a belief in late blooming, so be it!

The idea that life is lived for one's first several decades for no better reason than to get ready for the meaty, meaningful time of life, that being the years after becoming 40 or older, is anathema to those who are 20. And, honestly, there are a few old souls who are already making contributions even at that youthful age. Most, though, are more like me and will come to life, come to be truly living their lives, much later.

What do you think? Are you blooming late, right on time, or holding off on the whole bloomin' topic for now?


Olivia said...

I am a late bloomer. Or rather, I bloomed early, then have lain dormant for thirty years or so, and am ready to bloom a second time.

It's good to see your words here, Rick!



Rosa said...

Hmmm. I prefer to think we are perpetual bloomers, like annuals with a grand number of seasons in them, and perennials!

So, your additional posting at JJL wasn't pruning Rick - it was fertilizing and cross-germination here :)

Rick Hamrick said...

O--nothing wrong with a little dormancy! You are simply a fine wine which required some time in the cellar to reach your peak. It's time to open up now, right!? Thanks, Olivia!

Rosa--It's great to see you here! I can certainly get behind your theory, and it seems to me the blossoms get more deeply colorful and beautiful each season.

Who knows what sort of hybrid will result from the JJL/Hamguin marriage?

Thanks, Rosa.

Angela said...

Great post, Rick. I seem to go through cycles with it. Bloom, wilt, bloom, wilt, bloom. :)

Rick Hamrick said...

Angela--the courage to bloom again after the wilting part of the cycle is what keeps us going, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your own words, Angela.