On Greatness

I’d like to be a writer. If not a great writer, at least a good one. I’ve read countless books on writing and grammar. All to no avail, because I lack the very thing that a good writer needs–something to write about. Call it The Muses or a Burning-Topic-of-the-Day, I just don’t have a tractor-beam pulling my thoughts out and onto a screen. I struggle to write anything, and if I do, it takes me hours(I’m not exaggerating) of sweating over grammar, spelling, and punctuation before I hit the button on either a post or a comment.

When I was young, my Grandparents paid for music lessons. I played trumpet, and up to high school I was always first-chair first-trumpet. I studied music theory, I practiced scales and chords, and I was a demon on technical exercises. I could sight-read and play any sheet of music that could be put in front of me. Then came that day that I knew, for all my knowledge of music, that I had no music in me. I was in the stage band in high school, and the teacher, in the middle of a rockin’ song, pointed to me to play a solo. Even though I “felt” the music and even made a brave attempt, I flopped. And I knew I’d never be a music maker. A player, but not a maker.

Same for carpentry. I can build anything anyone can design, but I’ll never be an architect. Oh sure, I can sometimes devise a clever construction to solve a particular problem, like last week when the handle broke off our freezer and I made a new one out of a garage door handle. But my attempts to design a structure are like a cardboard box compared to FallingWater.

So greatness, even if thrust upon me, will most likely slough off like water off a duck’s back. And that’s a damn shame, because like most everyone, I have a thirst to prove myself. Perhaps before I start the mortal-coil shuffle I’ll find that one thing that I can do above all others. I’d like to do more than just wait for the undertaker to arrive.


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