Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Good Thought To Carry Forward

The poet-physician William Carlos Williams lived in Rutherford, NJ, near my home town of Paterson. Williams worked all his adult life as a pediatrician and a practicing poet. His modus operandi was to multitask - he called it "stealing." When family or friends talked to him, part of his mind would follow the conversation, while another part would be working over a difficult pattern of words. He'd knock out a few lines on a typewriter in his office, between patients. That approach didn't work for me - in the end, I had to satisfy my one-track mind through serial careers, first in medicine, then in novel-writing.
My favorite Williams quote comes from the second volume of his five-part epic, "Paterson." I keep it on the wall above my desk, so I can't miss seeing it when frustrations start piling up:

"No defeat is ever made up entirely of defeat - since the world it opens is always a place formerly unsuspected. A world lost, a world unsuspected beckons to new places"

Good thought to carry forward into the new year.

No comments: