The Impossible Dream
Anita Sharpe on Passionate Work
Why are some people able to pull off the impossible?
A fun piece in today's New York Times, 'Sleeping With the Guitar Player' tells the story of a 53-year-old poet and Princeton professor who takes up the guitar -- mastering seven chords -- and forms a rock 'n' roll band of some renown. He wrote songs with Warren Zevon, one of which was produced by Bruce Springsteen. He plays on stage and young women hold banners inscribed with his name.
Writes his wife: 'I'm a woman, which means that, in my heart of hearts, I have long understood that certain things are never going to happen in my life. I won't, by way of example, be modeling swimsuits for Sports Illustrated. . .' As for her husband, she observes: 'It occurs to me that much of his success in this odd endeavor derives from the fact that he just didn't know the whole thing was impossible, that his dearth of musicality, advanced age and lack of Rock Star lips meant that it was flatly impossible for him to become the thing he had decided he wanted to become.'
Ultimately, don't all big dreams -- from being a middle-aged rock star to discovering America -- turn real because the dreamers didn't know that what they wanted couldn't be done?