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Out of Our Minds
Sunday, March 13, 2005 2:01 PM
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?


charlie - 3/14/2005 9:34:01 PM
Reminds me of a couple of goodies (also at the risk of sounding like a Successories poster!)...

'Those who say it cannot be done should get of the way of the one who is doing it.'

And this one, from Martin Buber...

'Whoever can no longer desire the impossible will be able to achieve nothing more than the all-too-probable.'
martin - 3/14/2005 3:17:43 PM
Anita -

I just finished reading the Phantom Toolbooth with my son. The protagonist finishes his impossible task and returns to the kings who sent him on his way to ask 'what was the one thing you couldn't tell me before I began my journey'? They reply, 'that your journey was actually impossible'.

Not to sound like some banal 'Successories' poster, but almost everything starts out as impossible. It's just that you have to believe other wise or be oblivious to the fact.
Mindwalker - 3/13/2005 2:16:10 PM
Best line:
'He is not a great musician and still can play only seven chords (which is four more than you need, he points out).'

Amen, brother! As my man Bono once pointed out, 'All I need is a red guitar, three chords, and the truth!'

Really, what else do you need?


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