Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Stew of Time

Author Robert Caro has published the fourth volume of his biography of LBJ. The first volume was published in 1982. In an interview on NPR, he speaks of his writing process:

CARO: Well, I write in long hand. You know, my first three or four drafts, you can see, are on legal pads in long hand. And then I go to a typewriter, and I know everybody's switching to a computer. And I'm sort of laughed at. You know, everyone says you could do it faster. However, I'm not sure that in my case that faster is better.

I highlight the first and last lines because both are true for me, and go to the truth that slow and steady is my mode.

Who knows how I got to be this way, in this go-go country where I was born and raised, where stopping at traffic signals is widely viewed as an affront to forward progress. It's not just because of my advancing age. I've always been drawn to doing things my own way, in my own time. Caro's comments points to committing oneself to the stew of time. Time is the main ingredient in a stew, where flavors and textures influence each other. Richer flavor is the result.

Speaking of rich flavor, Mahalia Jackson's "I'm Gonna Wait Until My Change Comes" played on my MP3 today. What a voice. What a teacher, through this song, of the benefit of waiting--again, that ingredient of time--for the best to come to you, rather than pushing through the red lights.

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