Friday, February 27, 2009

Ah, Youth: Eluding and Deluding Me

The Boss notices everything. She remembers it all. I wish I had those qualities. She's three years old and I'm already jealous of her gifts.

"She's going to be the famous writer I've always wanted to be and I'm not going to be able to handle it," I told The Partner over dinner.

As usual, he refused to indulge me. "Don't worry. She might turn out to be a scientist." He looked over at the continent map she'd traced and colored at school that day. "Or a geographer."

"Maybe," I murmured. I slowly warmed up the idea. Then The Boss made another witty observation from across the table and even as I choked on laughter, my confidence cooled. I sighed. The Boss returned her attention to chasing rollaway peas around her plate with a spoon. "She's so much smarter than I ever was," I said.

The Partner was patient in his explanation of the circle of life. "At the stage she's at, it's her job to absorb things. It's all she does. She's supposed to notice the flowers. She's supposed to remember the colors. At the stage we're at, it's our job to filter out the noise." He looked me in the eyes, his own gaze narrowing as he went from theoretical to practical. "You? You can't afford to be distracted by the pretty flowers on the side of the road while you're driving."

I offered up the quick snort of acknowledgement he was looking for, then tossed his jibe aside. "But I can train myself. I can go back to her stage, to that frame of mind. It'll make me a better writer. I can be more observant and I can make myself remember things." I became increasingly impassioned with each passing phrase.

The Partner nodded. He's always been my biggest supporter. "Just not while you're driving," he said.

***

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4 comments:

Lauren said...

This post reminds me of this: http://www.vimeo.com/3048036

lauren said...

This.

Lauren said...

And OMG. PS. WTF are crotchless pantyhose?

toyfoto said...

I know where you and he are going with your respective observations about talent in the making of a great writer, but there's also the unquantifiable factor of luck.

How many really amazing books/writers do you think may be lost in publishing-house piles?