THESE WERE FROM LATE JULY, IN MASSACHUSETTS
This week's arts and culture column is a review of a book by Sarah Lewis called The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery.
Here's how it starts:
"As a free-lance creative writer, I can hardly read enough about rejection and failure. So here’s a book that recently caught my eye: “The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure and the Search for Mastery” (Simon & Schuster).
Sarah Lewis rightly points out the danger of falling into a rut of the safe and the familiar. She beautifully articulates our sense that what we long to achieve in our creative endeavors lies forever just beyond our reach.
She emphasizes that even spectacular setbacks can sharpen our resolve. Still, toiling away in my humble room, I couldn’t totally relate, career-wise, to some of the folks she profiles: Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of “the girdle-refining line” Spanx; Andre Geim, the Nobel-winning physicist who managed the first isolation of a two-dimensional object (it’s graphene).
One of my favorite passages was about Ben Saunders, a Devon-born explorer who became only “the third person in the world to reach the North Pole solo and on foot.” After achieving this staggering feat, wanting to share his joy with someone, he warmed his satellite battery by tucking it under his arm and called his mother.
Standing in line at the grocery store, too overwhelmed to speak, she began crying and asked him to call her back. So he called his girlfriend: the message went to voicemail.
“After 72 days of trudging alone on the pack and pressure ice, at times swimming through the ‘inky black water’ of the Arctic Ocean over three miles deep,” Lewis observes, “he had no cheering squad, no flag to plant.”
Now that I could relate to. Because we are all, in our way, walking to the North Pole"...
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.