Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Plant seeds. Wait.

In the Calendar section of today's Los Angeles Times, Patrick Goldstein has a page one interview with writer David Seidler. What makes it news is that Seidler is 73 and wrote the screenplay for "The King's Speech." Should he be nominated for and win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, which seems possible and even likely, he will be the oldest writer to win in that category. Goldstein said, "In a career that stretches back to the 1960s, he'd never written a hit movie."

I offer this a further evidence that it is never too late.

Next month I will be 66. I don't follow numerology so I can't say if that is a significant number. What does feel significant is the fact that, in so many ways, I am just getting started.

Tales of endurance, resilience and triumph thrill me. Inspiration does not have an age limit, nor does determination. One of my deeply-held beliefs is that the dreams of our hearts are not there by chance. From wherever they spring, they belong to our true, authentic selves. When they arrived, they came with a small, perhaps poorly marked packet of seeds with which to grow them.

That I went back and replaced the word container with packet in the previous sentence tells me I have not run out of options. There are more precise words to be found, tighter, clearer sentences to be constructed. Where these exercises take me is less important than knowing a journey is under way. I am the passenger absorbing every scene that rushes past, grateful for a window seat.

At one time I thought of myself as a late bloomer, now I would use the term gradual bloomer. Not slow, for that hints at running behind schedule. Yes, in terms of human lifespan it is more late than early, but how can I know it is not perfectly timed?

David Seidler's history, familiar for its non-linear quality, did not seem to foretell success a long way down the road. Yet he worked at his craft, I would say because that is what a writer does. In his new success, he laughs and says he is still the same ass he was three months ago. We are, most of us, still whatever we were three months - or three years - ago, curious to discover what we may be tomorrow.

21 comments:

Angella Lister said...

beautiful writing. the journey is the thing.

and i loved the king's speech. i had planned to write a post about it but life just kept happening. now i can't recall what i wanted to say.

it was something about how there are people along our journey who help us along, often from quarters that are least expected. i was most fascinated by the friendship and trust that developed between the king and the commoner. it led me back the the histories written at the time.

thanks for the packet of seeds.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

I like that...'a gradual bloomer'. It's those flowers in the garden that I love the most...their interesting buds and slowly opening up into different stages of flowering. I also believe that my life is just starting in a new way, with my creativity really listening to my true self or my authentic self as some might say. I don't know anything about numerology either but found this day, my birthday, an interesting number sequence as well...1.11.11!

Artist and Geek said...

:)
Yes!
For some strange reason (or it could be that I'm thinking of blog posts/topics), this reminded me of my childhood budgie, who at age 12 (probably 80 in human years) decided that it was time to undergo a gender reassignment AND lay some eggs.

He/She taught me a valuable lesson: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE.

I plan to retire when I'm dead.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Frank Lloyd Wright did his best work past age 60, he designed "Taliesin West" as a school of architecture at the age of 70.

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Marylinn - it's refreshing, as it always is, to come here and sit awhile. Beautiful writing, yes. As you know, I've been 'elsewhere' lately (and am still, in some respects), which I think feels okay. Thank you for putting a hand out on my blog a day or two ago. I appreciate you.

Since reading your Quaker post a week ago, I keep catching the welcome whiff of oats and honey. Thank you - 'tis a welcome aroma.

Angella, your comment reminded me of a saying a friend wrote onto my 'dreaming wall'; I'm not sure who it was who spoke the words originally, but I think of them often. . . "At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box"

When my children were little, Marylinn, my daughter asked me when people knew they'd become grown ups? My reply was akin to yours re; being a gradual bloomer rather than a late one (the former being a kind and loving concept). I told my children I though grown-ups were something of a myth and that no matter our age, we are really all "growing-ups." Always growing, rather than grown. . . in process, moving towards, being, becoming.

What date is your birthday, Marylinn? Will you let us know so that we can light candles for you? Thank you -
Warm greetings to you from NZ.
Love, Claire xo

Artist and Geek said...

Sorry. I meant that figuratively speaking.

Quite content with my original chromosomes and do not want to lay eggs.

Laoch of Chicago said...

After I got sick I stopped focusing on the future so much and tried to be in the moment, which I think leads to better personal gains.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - Thank you. I am continually delighted, and still surprised, by the unexpected assistance that appears to move us along our paths. It seems likely that "The King's Speech" will be a topic of interest for a while, so if your post comes back to you, there should be plenty of time.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kerry - Belated birthday wishes from here. I agree that your numbers yesterday had a feel of importance. I saw myself as a "late" bloomer for such a long time. It was only yesterday, while writing the post, that another word seemed a more accurate, and kinder, choice.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Artist and Geek - I hope that gender reassignment will not be one of my later-in-life surprises. He/she must have been a very mellow budgie to take such change in stride. For that, and slightly less drastic innovation, I really do believe it is never too late.

And...thinking of blog posts, topics? Good. Can't wait.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - Thank you for further examples for the "never too late" diaries. It is endless, unfolding wonder, is it not?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - How nice to see you back. I kept my own promise and we are now, once again, oatmeal folk.

Always growing, rather than grown, allows us to proceed at our natural pace, acknowledging the possibility that there may not be a destination.

Your quote is a fine match for Angella's comments.

My birthday is Feb. 8. Could be that I will mention it again...

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - Plans have never been among my strengths, or successes. For me to relinquish the bizarre idea of controlling the future is a source of peace. I've learned it is very different to have a specific expectation of tomorrow than to remain open for whatever gift it may deliver. Wishing you contentment in your present moments...and many of them.

Melinda said...

gradual bloomer. Yes, that's me. People ask me why I've never been married. The best answer I've come up with is that for years I was afraid I would get stuck being the person I was at that moment, when I knew I had so far to grow, so many changes to make. Now I know rationally that marriage doesn't mean one needs to stop changing, but I kind of saw it that way. That somehow I'd be breaking the rules if I changed after marrying someone who thought he knew who he married. Or something like that.

And then of course, later, the man (or maybe two) were not interested in marrying me. And then... "I haven't found the right man".

But really? I think it is probably what I wrote. I hope perhaps that might change in the future, maybe. And I'm 57! Gradual blooming, that's me. I don't really regret it, although I regret missing some it also: being a mother, having a soul mate & partner, having someone to share the burdens of life with, and yummy man to sleep next to at night...
There are positives and negatives to every option.

Kass said...

I too feel I am beginning to come into my own in my sixties. There's something about the age process that has to do with overcoming things, making way for opportunities to do things in ways we have always known we should do them.

Somehow, because of blogging, I don't want to be a recluse anymore. I want to be more flamboyant. I want my art to be a record of an intense life, but the problem is there are so many vehicles for expression that I tend to be a digressor. So many outlets and mediums drive me forward, I feel I need to invent some combination of them all. Somehow I want to capture the undercurrent of real life that exists beneath appearances. Can it be done? Does anyone care? Do I care if no one cares?

You do a great job of expressing yourself. It always makes me think deeply.

Erin in Morro Bay said...

Just as adolescence seems to be lasting well into the '20's now, so the old "life begins at 40" must be updated to 50 or 60. For the last 9 years my e-mail tagline has been "Life not only begins at 50- it positively sparkles". This has been true for me and for many I know. This has been the best and most exciting decade of my life and I only expect it to get better and and better.
Erin

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melinda - And, while we are gradual, time is swift. Some options - bearing children or, for me, the thought of being strong enough to raise a grandchild - do come to a stop but others remain open. Such is the beauty of gradual blooming...the possibilities for which it is not at all too late are uncountable.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - That this blog may encourage deep thinking...oh, joy. Once I surrendered to this contemplative assignment, there seemed to be no turning back. The company I have found is so welcome.

I understand the wish to identify a form that would encompass everything...I digress less, but I also neglect experimenting with the visual aspects of expression. I think it can be done, combining the parts so the story can be told more fully. Sometimes I see myself ranting like a mad evangelist or resorting to hand puppets...As long as you care, does anything else matter? It is that heart pull, it is a calling. Sometimes our wisdom comes from knowing what is enough.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Your tagline always makes me smile. Think of the impatience we could have side-stepped had we known what these years could bring. Hence the gradual bloomer. If we are still here and the world keeps unfolding, the word late has no place.

Claire Beynon said...

There's so much here to ponder and nod agreement at - thanks, all. This year, I'm going to drop the words 'plan', 'early ' and 'late' and think instead in terms of 'intention' and the concept of being 'in time' (instead of 'on time').

Yes, thanks again for the seeds, Marylinn.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - You are welcome. I find there is much to be rephrased, reconsidered. (The comments add so much, widen the horizons).