Saturday, November 08, 2008

Bloom, and bloom again

Stories of late bloomers and people who discover their second careers in adulthood are popular in our house. We are fans of Leo the Late Bloomer, by Robert Kraus. Also, I joke with K.Jay of Amish Guitar that we're both the Grandma Moses of guitar-playing since we both picked up our instruments in our thirties. I enjoyed finding Storyteller role a new chapter in woman's life by Jonathan Namath. The article is about Mary Lou Williams, a 75 year old storyteller who started her second career three years ago:

After retiring, Williams plan was to give speeches on nutrition. She joined the group Toastmasters, which helps people improve public speaking and leadership skills.

"While I was involved with Toastmasters, everyone liked my storytelling more than my nutritional lectures," Williams said.


I can relate. For years, I wrote serious poems filled with anxiety and loss. Those were the poems I intended to publish. However, I wrote light, humorous pieces on the side to amuse my friends, and those were the poems that people enjoyed.

November 13, 2008 update: Check out this New Yorker article called Late Bloomers, written by Malcolm Gladwell. Thank you, Susan T. of Chicken Spaghetti!

10 comments:

Lone Star Ma said...

I liked your serious poetry when it was the lyrical, fantastic stuff, too - just not the triple-super-dark stuff so much. But I definitely think triple-super-dark could have found a market, too. I know what you mean, though.

Beth Kephart said...

I believe in the possibility of discovering a new path every day (even as I work to better find my way on the path that I am currently on).

Thanks for this thought-provoking post.

TadMack said...

Isn't it odd how that works... I didn't try to publish much of either type of poetry, but it is true that the lighter stuff got passed around more...

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

Those types of of stories are popular with me, too (I wonder why). And of course, Leo the Late Bloomer is the source of my son's blog name! His real name is Elliot (ssh). Now I'm off to read the article about Mary Lou Williams--and maybe one day, some of your poems, serious OR silly.

adrienne said...

I love stories like these because it reminds me that life is always full of possibilities. I love that about life.

Lone Star Ma said...

And I sure am hoping that my forties will be the decade for my writing career...

Bridget said...

I totally love late bloomer stories! Thanks for posting.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm glad you all appreciated this late bloomer story. I just remembered that the last issue of Utne Reader had an article on people who develop their skills later in life, but of course I'm having a hard time locating it now.

Susan T. said...

Was it a New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell? "Late Bloomers," 10/20/08?

Susan
Chicken Spaghetti

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Susan T.: It was! You rock. I've updated this post with the link to the article.